Here’s a very quick idea for a summer dinner. A cool soup! If you’ve never tried a summer soup, you’re in for a treat. You’re likely to come across some new flavor combos when exploring cool soups. And this delicious summer fare made with the weekly bounty from your local farmer’s market is a perfect way to eat healthy and support local growers.
Cool summer vegetable soups are a nice variation from serving a salad. They can also be a hearty meal by themselves. Unlike the desired smoothness of a fruit soup, summer vegetable soups are often rich and full of texture. To get texture, feel free to add beans, rice, or bread to the mix.
Again, there’s nothing like a summer farmer’s market to offer you an array of vegetables for creating soups: spinach, avocados, cucumber, tomatoes, beets, carrots, corn and asparagus. Any of these creatively combined with herbs and spices in a summer soup will revive your weary taste buds after a long summer day.
Here’s a sweet and tangy recipe to get you started.
Chilled Carrot Honey Soup
3 cups water
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons mild honey
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 thin lemon slices
1 tablespoon mild honey for drizzling
Combine all ingredients except 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice in a 3-qt heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 30-40 minutes.
Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until very smooth, then chill soup quickly, stirring occasionally, in a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and water, about 30 minutes. (Alternatively, cool soup, uncovered, 30-40 minutes, and then chill covered, until cold, about 4 hours.)
Stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and salt to taste. Divide soup among 6 bowls with a ladle. Float a lemon slice on top of each serving, then drizzle with honey and serve.
Remember, when cooled, some of the flavors of your vegetables may fade, so you need to start with the freshest ingredients you can. Newly picked vegetables will give you the most satisfying results.
Here are more summer soup ideas, and creative serving suggestions. Enjoy!