This is the best time of the year for people who cook. Also, for people who eat. The fields are laden with produce. Vegetables and fruit hang heavy from every leafy branch. Goodness is fresh and abundant. And with the sun blazing down on us like a broiler, the key is to enjoy all of this wonderful produce and cool down at the same time.
Refreshing and crisp and just a little unusual, cold soups make the best of what summer has to offer.
Lightly spiced tomato soup
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 to 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Pinch cayenne pepper (or 1 seeded and minced small chili)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 6 cups tomato juice (48-ounce can)
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- Plain yogurt, for garnish
- In a small soup pot, saute the onion in oil until translucent. Add the cayenne, cumin, turmeric, cardamom and cloves, and saute another minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato juice and water, and simmer for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Serve hot or cold, topped with a spoonful of yogurt.
Curried avocado soup
- 2 medium-ripe Haas (dark-skinned) avocados
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Split the avocados in half with a knife, and remove the pits. Set aside one half. Scoop out the insides of the other 3 halves with a spoon, and blend with 1 cup of the stock in a blender until smooth. Stir in the curry powder, salt, pepper, cream and remaining 1 ¼ cups of stock. Chill. When ready to serve, garnish the soup with thin avocado slices that have been cut from the remaining avocado half and dipped in lemon juice.