Wednesday, August 7

Cold Summer Soups

Hardly anyone like heavy food when the weather is really this warm. Sweet and cold drinks are refreshing but when it comes to refreshing and light lunch, that can be sometimes complicated. 
What's more tasty and refreshing on these hot summer days than cold soups!
They are simple to make, yet aroma and presentation could be far from simple and much more delicate, quite different than regular hot soups . 
Depending on ingredients, taste can be like a puzzle game, with every spoon you discover new flavours that it contains.
And don't forget that these soups also contain more nutritional values because they are created mostly with fresh ingredients!
People around the world created these soups depending mostly on vegetables their regions are rich with. For instance, famous Spanish Gazpacho wouldn't exist if it's not for the tomatoes Spain become flooded in the summer etc..

Here is my Top 10 List of the Cold Soups:

Thai Crab meat Watermelon Soup 

(This unusual soup is real delicacy, aroma of sweet watermelon and sour and spicy along with crabmeat and cilantro, explosion of flavour in your mouth!)

For soup:

4 cups coarsely chopped deseeded watermelon pulp
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 fresh lemongrass stalk*
3 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp mild olive oil
1-2 small hot green chili such as Thai or Serrano, finely chopped (including seeds), or to taste
2 limes, juice squeezed
1 tsp salt, or to taste

For crab
1/2 cup lump crabmeat
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1tsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp mild olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Accompaniment: lime wedges

Make soup:
Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth and transfer to a bowl.
Discard 1 or 2 outer leaves of lemongrass and trim root end. Thinly slice lower end of stalk and then mince, discarding remainder.
Cook lemongrass, shallot, ginger, and garlic in oil in a saucepan over moderately low heat, until are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add stock and about one third of watermelon puree and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes.
Remove watermelon mixture from heat, then transfer to blender along with chili, lime juice, and salt and blend until smooth.
Add remaining watermelon puree and blend briefly. Add more chili, lime juice, and salt if desired, blending if necessary. Chill soup, uncovered, about 2 hours if serving cold, or reheat in cleaned saucepan.

Prepare crab:
Toss crabmeat with parsley and cilantro, oil, and salt.
Divide crab among 4 soup plates, mounding in center, and pour chilled or hot soup around it.

Hungarian cold sour-cherry soup

2 lbs. fresh sour cherries
(Alternatively, you may use 2 jars of pitted sour cherries with their juice)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 thick slice of lemon
1/2 cup yogurt

Add cherries, with their juice, to a medium saucepan. Add salt, cinnamon stick, and lemon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cherries are soft, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and 1/4 cup of hot cherry liquid from pan. Remove pan from heat, stir in sour cream mixture. Chill the soup.

Cold Avgolemono Greek Soup

In the Greek soup known as avgolemono ("ahv-go-LEH-mo-no"):chicken broth, lemon juice, eggs, a small amount of rice make this light soup with the consistency of liquid velvet.
Although avgolemono is traditionally served hot, it's summery starter when chilled and seasoned with lots of dill.

4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup long-grain white rice (brown rice can be substituted)
2 large eggs
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 scallion green, thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped dill

Simmer stock and rice in a medium saucepan, covered, until rice is soft, about 30 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender. Whisk eggs together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot stock mixture.
Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until smooth and thick, few minutes only.
Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in lemon juice, then quick-chill, stirring occasionally, until cold.
Stir in scallion, dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cooks' note: Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.

Cold Russian Beet Yogurt Soup (Cold version of Borsch)

3 tbsp. fresh dill, finely minced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt

1 lb. beets, cooked, chilled, and peeled
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp fresh dill
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2tsp. salt

Make the ice cubes: Divide the dill, lemon juice, and salt among 4 cubes of an ice cube tray. Top off with cold water and freeze until solid.
In blender mix ingredients for the soup. Serve with prepared ice cubes.

Moroccan-Spiced Cold Tomato Pepper Soup

1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and juices reserved
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Cook onion in oil with spices in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely chop tomatoes and add to onion mixture with reserved juices, broth, 1 tbsp parsley, and cilantro, then bring to a boil.
Transfer soup to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Cool soup, stirring occasionally, until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, then stir in remaining parsley and cilantro.

Mexican Avocado Soup with Cilantro oil

For soup:

1 fresh or frozen ear of corn, shucked
4 cups water
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped white onion
1-2 fresh Serrano chili, stemmed and coarsely chopped (including seeds)
3 ripe avocados (1 to 1 1/4 lb total)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt

For cilantro oil :
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Special equipment: a 3/4-inch melon-ball cutter

Make soup:
Roast corn over high heat, until kernels are charred in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, heat a dry well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and roast corn over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.) Transfer corn to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cob with a sharp knife, then cut cob into thirds.
Bring kernels, cob pieces, 4 cups water, garlic, salt, and 1/2 of onion to a boil in a large saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool, uncovered. Discard cob pieces.
Puree corn mixture along with chili and remaining onion in a blender, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Return broth to cleaned blender.
Quarter, pit, and peel 1 avocado, then add to blender with 2 tbsp lime juice and puree until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill soup at least 1 hour.

Prepare cilantro oil while soup chills:
Puree cilantro, oil, and salt in cleaned blender, scraping down sides of blender several times. Pour oil into cleaned fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and let drain 15 minutes (do not press on solids). Discard solids.

Assemble soup:
Halve and pit remaining avocado and scoop small balls from flesh with melon-ball cutter, then toss gently with remaining tbsp lime juice in a bowl.
Whisk together cream and remaining 2 tbsp water in a small bowl until smooth.
Season soup with salt and ladle into 6 shallow soup bowls. Divide avocado balls among bowls, then drizzle with cream and cilantro oil.

African Peanut Soup

Creamy and comforting, spicy vegan soup with West African origins.
Made with a simple combination of peanut butter, tomato paste and collard greens.
If you love spicy flavors, don't hesitate to use liberal amounts of ginger and garlic.

6 cups vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 bunch collard greens (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into strips
1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup tomato paste, or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup sweet potatoes
Hot sauce, like sriracha or any other of your choice
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish

In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl.
Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup to taste.
Simmer for about 15 more minutes stirring often. Chill and serve.

Spanish Almond Soup

1 1/2 pounds blanched almonds
6 cups flat mineral water or filtered water
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup aged sherry vinegar, plus 1 tbsp
2 1/2 cups Spanish extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
3 slices of rustic bread, crusts removed, about 2 ounces
4 fresh black figs, quartered
4 tbsp roughly chopped Spanish Marcona almonds
1 tbsp chopped chives

Put the blanched almonds into a bowl, cover with the mineral water, and let soak overnight.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the garlic and boil for 1 minute, then drain the garlic and cool.
Drain the soaked almonds, reserving the soaking liquid, and put them in a blender or food processor.
Add the garlic, reserved soaking liquid, 3/4 cup of the sherry vinegar, 2 1/2 cups of the olive oil, and bread, and puree until smooth.
Place a colander over a large bowl and line it with cheesecloth. Pour the soup into the colander. Once most of the liquid has passed through the colander, gather the cheesecloth around the remaining solids and squeeze gently to release as much of the liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
Pour the soup into a pitcher and chill for 30 minutes.
To serve, divide the fig pieces and Marcona almonds among soup bowls. Pour in the cold soup, sprinkle with chopped chives, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Chilled Pumpkin Soup from Argentina

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced tomatoes with liquid or 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup fresh Pumpkin puree or canned
1 cup evaporated milk (I replaced it with thick yogurt)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Paprika (optional)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and green onions, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Add tomatoes, cook for an additional minute.
Add broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Remove soup from heat, cool for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer mixture to blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add evaporated milk (yogurt), blend more.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

Gazpacho - Andalusia, Spain

(adapted from Jose Andres-Maid in Spain)

For the soup:
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup Oloroso sherry
3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

For the garnish:
2 1 inch-thick slices rustic bread
1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Sea salt to taste

To make the soup, combine the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, sherry, olive oil and 2 cups of water in a food processor or blender.
Puree the ingredients until everything is well blended into a thick pink liquid. Pour the gazpacho through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
For the garnish: Preheat oven to 450F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Set the croutons aside to cool.

To serve, pour the chilled soup into cups or bowls. Top with croutons, cucumbers and peppers. Sprinkle with salt and drizzl

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