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Summer Soups – Whats for Lunch Today!

When I was a young kid and living in an apartment building in Queens, NY it was hard to beat the heat. On those long hot summer days when the sun is blazing and it seemed like you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, my mother would break out her home made juice ice pops, the ones you make in the plastic cup with a wooden stick.  She always served those ice pops to us in a plastic bowl and spoon, because it was only a matter of minutes before my siblings and I had what we called Pop Soup.

The words Summer Soup seems like the ultimate in oxymoron’s. . In the summer for many of us the thought of eating a piping hot anything – especially soup is unappetizing.  Who really wants to eat a hot soup when it’s shmaltzing outside?

I do!  Now as an adult I still love soup in the Summer.  Very different from those pop soup ones I use to eat, these gourmet soups, whether Cold or Hot are still a great summer treat.

Yes- I know that soups and cold weather are synonymous. And I whole heartedly agree that there is nothing more satisfying than curling up with hot cup of tomato rice soup and grilled cheese sandwich on a cold blustery day.  But I am here to tell you that a hot or cold soup on a scorcher of a  day is just as satisfying and appealing as my mother’s pop soup.   In these hot days of summer, my family and I enjoy  great summer soups with a salad or sandwich for lunch or dinner as often as we can.

As an enthusiast of  soups in general, I truly believe that the Summer Soup is slightly misunderstood.  Mostly summer soups are thought of as cold Gazpachos that are tomato based.  Admittedly when served in some restaurants they can be gloppy and  gross. The truth is that Gazpacho is not even a soup, but is a liquid salad from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, made of ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, and bread moistened with water that is blended with olive oil, vinegar, and ice water and served cold. It just usually happens to be served in a bowl, hence the name cold soup.

The biggest mistake that is being made when serving these  “cold” soups is actually serving them cold. Summer soups are meant to be enjoyed at room temperature or for lack of a better way to explain it kind of warmish – never stone cold.  I always serve a summer soup with some type of great side garnish or accompaniment.  Home-made croutons, flatbreads, gourmet Panini’s,  salads  or fun taco chips, are all the stuff that just make the summer soup overall, a charming delectable dish.

Summer soups can be the highlight of your meals – it can be your entire meal actually. These summer vegetable laden bowls of tasty delights are the perfect answer to serving a great tasting refreshing meal no matter what the temperature outside is.

Happy Cooking!

Sarah

 

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Pepper Soup

As an enourmous fan of the Tomato Soup, this soup is so out-out-of-this world yummy it is my ultimate go- to  summer time lunch soup. This with a great ceaser salad or quick whole wheat tuna wrap is the perfect meal. And when the munchies come at night, if I want to be good and not reach for the cookies or chips, I take a bowl of this soup and I am happily satisfied.

 

 

 

 

6 beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half
2 red peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 tbsp. extra virgin Olive oil (use less or more if desired)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. basil
1 Tbsp. basil
½ tsp. cumin
2 tsp. sugar or 1 package of splenda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom of a baking sheet.
Place all vegetables and garlic cloves on the cookie sheet, cut side down. Sprinkle with all spices, except sugar. Place in the oven and roast until softened.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Place everything including the sugar into the blender and puree until smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Corn Soup

In the summer time I am always buying loads and loads of fresh corn cobs from the local farmers off the road. This soup is just another terrific way to enjoy that great summer time treat. This soup is a great alternative to my other favorite winter time soup the corn chowder.

 

5 ears of corn
5 Tbsp. butter or margerine (use more or less if desired)
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Garlic powder
1 ½ cups coconut milk

 

Preheat the bbq or oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle the corn with the salt, pepper, and garlic. Slice the butter and place on the corn. Wrap each cob tightly in aluminum foil. Roast until corn is soft (about 15-20 minutes). Let cool slightly.
Remove kernels from the cob. Place corn and coconut milk in a blender and puree until smooth. Add water as needed to thin out soup to your desired consistancy. (I like a little chunkier soup so I use less water)
Serve at room temperature. 

Tip – If you are in a time crunch just saute frozen corn in the butter and add the spices. Then follow the directions accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Love A Summer Soup:
It is a great way to enjoy this summer’s vegetables when they are at their peak of ripe deliciousness.
They are super-fast and easy to make, require very little ingredients and can last in the fridge for at least a week if not more.
If you are health conscience and are looking to eat light and healthy, a great summer soup laden with vegetables is the perfect answer. They are satisfying and low in calorie that you can nosh on them when ever you feel that hunger craving.
Not only are they  a great light appetizer for any meal, they are also great on their own for when you want something fresh and yummy
If you have extra vegetables that are about to go bad if you don’t use them soon, a summer soup is a great way to utilize them
A summer soup recipe takes almost no thought or special ingredients –really anything goes.  So easy to make with whatever is leftover in your fridge or pantry
Kids love them really!  Especially when you add a few gourmet chips or crackers into the mix.

Things you should have on hand to make A great  Summer Soup Anytime:
Onions
Zucchinis
Mushrooms
Eggplant
Fresh or Frozen corn
Fresh tomatoes
Peppers
Coconut milk or Soy Milk (when you want to keep things pareve)
Standard Blender or Hand Blender
Croutons, Taco chips or Pita chips

Tips on Storing your Summer Soups:
Summer soups are great not only for the taste but because they are fast and easy to make. So when you are making one you might as well go ahead and make  a big batch at one time. Here are a few ways to store these summer soups so you can enjoy them all the time.
If refrigerating them, make sure you are keeping them in an air tight container. Do not place them in the door of your fridge but rather store them at the back of the fridge where it is coldest.  Take your soup out 20 minutes before serving so the soup is at room temperature. If necessary warm in microwave for 1 minute.

I love to freeze my summer soups in portioned out ziplock bags.  I remove the bag from the freezer and defrost for an hour or so. Ten minutes before I am ready to serve, I  then submerge the portioned out bag in a bowl of very hot water. Now my soup is able to warm up to the perfect temperature.

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About the Author

For the last 8 years Sarah Lasry has been the heart and soul of the successful and celebrated Tastebuds Gourmet Café & Flower Shop in Howell, NJ. Sarah opened and ran Tastebuds to much critical appraise for her unique approach to delicious, kosher gourmet cooking as well as her legendary parties, original style and artistic culinary flair. In 2006 Sarah wrote the acclaimed bestselling cookbook “THE DAIRY GOURMET” which revealed all the secret recipes of Tastebuds Café. With much anticipation from her many fans and fellow foodies, Sarah’s brand new cookbook “THE AT HOME GOURMET” just hit the stores with high praise and reviews. Sarah currently resides in Lakewood, NJ where she has recently left the restaurant business to concentrate on her passion for writing cookbooks and is hard at work as the Food and Home contributing editor for Binah Magazine and www. Kosherstreet.com.

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