It’s blazing hot outside, hot enough to cook anyone’s goose. So how about a cold bowl of soup to help you cool down?
A delicious bowl of soup that requires no simmering on a hot stove in an equally hot kitchen. All the ingredients for the soup go into the blender, you give them a few whirls, and when it turns into a smooth mixture, the soup is ready. Cooking really cannot get any easier than this.
Summer soups can also be called blender soups. Blend your soup with some salt, fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of yummy olive oil whenever possible. And remember to let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (ideally more) before serving it.
So if you’re looking for a quick, easy and super refreshing meal idea for a hot and humid summer day, try one (or all) of the recipes given below:
COLD CUCUMBER SOUP
This cold and refreshing soup makes the perfect meal on a hot summer day.
The strong and distinct taste of dill pairs perfectly with mild-flavoured cucumbers. It takes no more than 10 minutes to make.
The only thing to remember is that for optimum taste, it must be made ahead of time and chilled for at least four hours.
Top with small pieces of grilled boneless chicken or grilled garlic shrimps to make a full meal.
2 large cucumbers, halved and seeded
1 1/2 cups strained yoghurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
In a blender puree the cucumbers, yoghurt, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, dill, parsley, and salt until smooth. Chill until cold, then pour into serving bowls. Top with tomatoes, green onions and any other topping you like to add. Serve immediately.
Originated in Andalusia, gazpacho continues to be found all over the region with surprisingly few variations as chefs prefer to let the pure taste of tomatoes, vinegar and olive oil shine through. The freshly-ground cumin lends it an intriguing, smoky flavour.
1 (2-inch long) piece baguette, crust discarded
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cumin
1 kg ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil
Soak bread in half-a-cup water for one minute, then squeeze dry and discard soaking water. Mash garlic to a paste with salt.
Blend garlic paste, bread, two tablespoons vinegar, sugar, cumin, and half of tomatoes in a food processor until tomatoes are very finely chopped. Add the remaining tomatoes with motor running and, when very finely chopped, gradually add oil in a slow stream, blending until as smooth as possible, for about one minute.
Pour the soup through a sieve into a glass container, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids, and chill the soup; keep covered until cold. Season with salt and vinegar before serving. Garnish with finely chopped red and green bell peppers.
CHILLED SWEET CORN SOUP
The secret to making any cold soup is using ingredients that are really fresh and in season.
For this soup use tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, onion and fresh corn. Cut the kernels off the cob, chop everything and put in a big bowl. Let it sit on your counter for an hour or two and then it all goes in the blender.
The toppings for this chilled sweet corn soup are limitless — avocado, tortilla chips, any type of chopped up vegetable that went into the soup, sriracha sauce, and even some crab meat.
5 ears of corn, kernels cut off
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup diced onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 to 4 cilantro sprigs
2 tablespoons salt
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle some salt before you toss and let sit on the counter for one to three hours. Transfer everything to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Garnish with drizzle of olive oil, fresh corn and cilantro.
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, June 24th, 2018