Cold Summer Soups
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 leeks, white and pale green part sliced into rings, well-rinsed
- 1 onion, sliced
- 5 red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
In a large stock pot melt butter over low heat. Add leeks and onion, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and bay leaf and stir well. (See Note) Cover pot and continue to cook for 12 minutes.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
Puree soup in blender or food processor and cool.
Prior to serving, add cream. If you are serving this soup warm you need to reheat the soup slowly so that the cream does not change consistency and possibly curdle.
Note: I love making soup and the flavor bay leaves impart, but I hate having to fish them out at the end. With other spices, like thyme, which also tend to have woody stems, the texture seems inconsistent with a creamy soup - so my solution? I use an oversized <mesh tea ball> $4.25 on Amazon.com (also available at Whole Foods and tea shops) and so, so worth it. Simply place the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, etc. in the ball, fold it closed and secure with the clasp, then toss into your soup and voila! No searching for bay leaves and no woody stems!
Chilled Tomato and Avocado Soup
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled and quartered
- 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 quart (low-sodium) tomato juice
- 1 1/4 cups plain (nonfat) yogurt
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or the tips of green onions
- Cayenne pepper to taste
Place tomato, avocados, onion, green bell pepper, and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Pour in 1 cup tomato juice, and process to blend.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and mix in remaining tomato juice and 1 cup yogurt. Season to taste with salt. Chill for 2 hours.
Garnish with dollops of yogurt, chives, and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, if desired.
Fresh Pea and Mint Soup
- 4 TBSP butter
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 3 TBSP fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch white sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish
Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over low flame. Add the chopped green onions, cook until softened, but not browned. Stir in the peas, vegetable stock, and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat back to low, cover cover and simmer - 15 minutes for frozen peas, 30 minutes for fresh peas.
Using a large slotted spoon, remove 3 TBSP (30 or so) of the peas, and set aside. Pour the soup into a blender or food processor, add milk and puree until smooth - alternately, use an immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper (and optional: sugar) to taste. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well-chilled.
Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a swirl of 1 TBSP cream into each, topped with mint sprigs and reserved peas.
- Kelsey Ganes