In winter, we often eat hot soup to "warm up." But in summer we often forget to take equal advantage of cold soup to "cool down."
Varieties range from smooth, creamy appetizers to chunky entrees that make a satisfying lunch or dinner.Some cold soups are even served as desserts.
Because they are eaten chilled, they can be made in advance, either the day before or in the cool morning hours.
For many recipes a blender can puree the ingredients into a velvey combination of flavors. You can also use a food processor [with small batches], a food mill, or a sieve for the same job. A sieve will remove the tiny seeds and bits of skin that some people find objectionable.
After the soup has chilled throughly, check seasonings: Cold tends to lessen the intensity of some herbs and spices and you may want to add more.
To serve soups extra-cold, you can add a tablespoon of curshed ice or an ice cube to each cup or bowl at the last minute. Or, for real elegance, serve each portion in a small bowl nestled in a larger bowl of crushed ice.
MIXED-FRUIT SOUP [Make 7 cups] 1/2 medium-sized cantaloupe 1 pint fresh strawberries 1/4 pound seedless green grapes [or remove seeds, if necessary] 2 medium-sized, firm cooking apples 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 to 4 tablespoons honey or sugar [to taste] 2 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup fresh orange juice Remove seeds and skin from cantaloupe and chop coarsely. Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut grapes in half. Peel, core and coarsely chop apples. Put all fruit into a large saucepan with 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the honey [for sugar] and the water. Bring to a boil, hethen reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Puree everything in a blender, or use a sieve if you want to remove all the strawberry seed and bits of grape skins. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the orange juice and mix well. Cool slightly. Then refrigerate several hours until cold. To turn the soup into dessert, simply serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top of each bowl.
CACIK [TURKISH YOGURT AND Cucuber soup] [Make 3 cups] 1 medium-sized cucumber 2 cups plain yogurt 2 teaspoons white vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon finely cut fresh mint leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint 1 teaspoon finely cut fresh dillweed or 1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed Salt to taste
Although this soup can be prepared and served at the last minutes, it's best if the flavors have a few hours to mingle.
Peel the cucumber; cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Then coarsely grate. Put the yogurt in a serving bowl and stir until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the cucumber and gently but thoroughly mix together. Refrigerate about 2 hours. Then check seasonings before serving. [If soup is too thick, a few drops of water can be added.]
COLD MINESTRONE [Makes 12 cups] 3/4 cup raw pasta, such as macaroni or small shells 2 cups fresh green beans cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces 3/4 cup fresh shelled peas [or frozen peas if fresh are unavailable] 2 cups cubed fresh zucchini 1 can [15 ounces] grabanzo beans [chick peas] or cannellini beans 2 cans [18 ounce each] tomato juice 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves, crushed 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed 1/4 teaspoon dry marjoram leaves, crushed 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
Prepare pasta as directed on package. Drain and cool. Place zucchini, green beans and pea in a sauce pan with a small amount of water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking action. [Vegetables should be bright green and slightly crisp.]
Drain garbanzo beans [or cannellini beans] and rinse, if desired. Pour tomato jucie into a large serving bowl. Stir in herbs and spices. Add pasta, green beans, peas, zucchini and garbanzo beans. Mix well. Chill thoroughly. Adjust seasonings if necessary before servings.
CHILLED CURRIED CHICKEN SOUP [Makes 10 cups] 1 large onion, sliced 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 2 ribs celery, sliced 3 tablespoons butter 4 cups chicken stock or bouillon 1 cups dry white wine 2 tablespoons curry powder [or to taste] 1/4 teaspoon red pepper Salt to taste 1 tablespoon flour 2 tablespoons water 1 cup diced chicken white meat 2 cups half and half
Saute onion, apples and celery in butter until onion is soft and apple starts to fall apart. Place mixture, along with 1 cup chicken stock, in blender and puree. Return to pan and add rest of stock, wine, curry power, red pepper and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes, stirring fequently. While soup is cooking, blend flour and water well. Stir into soup and continue to stir until mixture thickens slightly.
Cool soup slightly. Add chicken. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Before serving, add half and half and blend in well.
SPICED APPLE SOUP [Makes 4 cups] about 1 1/4 pounds firm, ripe apples 1 cup water 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons honey or sugar [or more to taste] 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 whole cloves or dash ground cloves 1/2 cup dry white wine or pale dry sherry 1 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons flour
Peel and core the apple, then cut into eights. Add the water, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and cloves. Simmer until apples are tender, but not mushy [about 5 to 10 minutes]. Remove whole cloves and puree apples in a blender. Return to heat.Add wine and milk while stirring, and bring to a boil. Mix the cream and flour well, and stir into the soup. Simmer 5 more minutes, stirring continuously. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until completely chilled [at least 3 or 4 hours]. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption