soups can be the perfect response to a sticky summer
day. Some varieties include, clockwise from top right,
Cold Corn Vichyssoise, Farmers Market Gazpacho, Ginger
Carrot Soup and Summer Fruit Soup
sun is blazing. The sweat is dripping. The air feels as if
it is sticking to your skin.
how about a nice big bowl of soup?
seriously. Soup is good food. Especially in the summer, when
the soup is cold.
soup is different from winter soup. Winter soup is heavy,
substantial, serious. It sticks to your ribs. But summer
soup is light, frivolous, festive. It cools you down from
the inside out. And if it is the right soup, it can even be
a little bit sweet and no one will complain.
are like me, when you think about cold summertime soups,
your first thought is: gazpacho.
if you are exactly like me and you are thinking about cold
summertime soups, your very first thought is of the episode
of "All in the Family" in which Archie Bunker is
served vichyssoise for the first time. He blows on a
spoonful to cool it down, and when he puts it in his mouth
he gets a surprised look on his face that is absolutely
priceless. But more on vichyssoise later.)
of course, is the (generally) tomato-based cold soup that
originated in the Andalusia region of Spain. Everyone who
makes it makes it differently, but the essentials are the
same ó ripe tomatoes, sherry vinegar whenever possible and
a bit of bread that has been soaked in water and then
squeezed for added texture, all pureed together.
not the way I make it. I call my version Farmers Market
Gazpacho because it is basically a vegetable soup that makes
full use of the bounty of the season. Also, I donít use
bread. I usually serve it thin with plenty of nice chunks of
veggies crammed into it. Occasionally I will puree it, but
while it tastes delicious, it does leave you with a soup
that is visually unappealing.
other bits of culinary apostasy: I begin with canned tomato
juice. Why not? Itís good, itís tomatoey. And I do add
real tomatoes, so it isnít as if I am entirely cheating,
other thing I do is I add chicken stock. It may not be
traditional, and it definitely is not vegetarian, but it
adds a certain depth missing in the Andalusian version.
thing I like to do in the summer is take cold-weather soups
and, by virtue of chilling them, turn them into hot-weather
soups. This is a simple trick, but it works remarkably well
for a whole host of unlikely soups.
a grilled corn soup with leeks that I love to make in the
fall, but it is (very nearly) just as good in the summer
when it is served cold. And spiced carrot soups, which are
such an essential safeguard against the snow, are every bit
as good a shield against the hot sun.
curried or spiced soups have cream in them to temper the
heat from the spice, and that cream works just as well to
cool you down on a hot day. The Ginger and Carrot Soup I
made here, which comes from Health.com, has the added
benefit of using yogurt instead of the higher-fat cream.
about that vichyssoise that had Archie Bunker so confounded.
Itís simple, itís pure ó itís one of the all-time
great French dishes that isnít actually French.
right. Vichyssoise (I just learned this, and Iím dying to
share it) was invented in 1917 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in
New York City. Chef Louis Diat liked to create a new
hot-weather recipe every summer, and that year he thought
about the leek-and-potato soup his mother used to serve when
he was growing up in Bourbon-líArchambault, about 40 miles
from the town of Vichy. When she served leftover soup, she
would thin it out with cream.
that idea, leek-and-potato soup mixed with cream and
chilled, that is the essence of vichyssoise.
it was created in America, I decided to make a distinctly
American version of it by adding corn to the potatoes and
leeks or onions. This idea came from Jacques Pepin who, like
Diat, is a French chef living in America. That makes it a
French-American version of a French-American dish. And it is
for a bit of sweetness, I went to a truly spectacular soup
created by Emeril Lagasse, of all people. Say what you will
about the man, but the culinaroscenti agree that he can
the case of his Summer Fruit Soup, not cook. Actually, a
little bit of cooking is involved, just a few minutes to
dissolve the sugar and bring the most out of the
strawberries, the pineapple, the mango and the lemon, lime
and orange peels.
an abundance of fruit, plus sugar. It sounds too sweet ó
you could serve it for dessert, but Iíd make it a light
and refreshing appetizer. But the sweetness is cleverly
balanced by a tablespoon of minced ginger, giving the soup
just the bite it needs to keep it from being cloying.
what the heck. Serve it last. If youíre having three
chilled soups for dinner, you may as well have one last one
About 4 quarts
quart tomato juice
quart chicken stock
cup olive oil
cup red wine vinegar
medium tomatoes, diced
large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
medium sweet onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
green or red pepper, diced
bulb fennel, sliced thin, optional
tablespoons fresh basil or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon,
avocado, sliced, for garnish, optional
all ingredients except the optional avocado in a large bowl
and refrigerate at least 2 hours. When serving, float
optional avocado slices on top of each bowl.
serving: 50 calories; 2 g fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 2 g protein; 6 g carbohydrate; 3 g sugar; 1 g
fiber; 135 mg sodium; 15 mg calcium.
by Mary Anne Pikrone
tablespoon unsalted butter
tablespoon corn oil
medium onion, sliced (about 1 3/4 cups)
ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
large ears corn, husked and kernels cut off (3 1/2 cups)
tablespoons chopped fresh chives or tarragon
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion
and saute for 2 minutes. Mix in the potatoes, corn kernels,
salt and water and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the
heat to low, and boil gently for 20 minutes.
an immersion blender, food processor or blender to puree.
For a soup with a smoother, finer texture, push it through a
fine sieve set over a bowl. Stir in the half-and-half and
chives or tarragon. Refrigerate until chilled before
serving: 330 calories; 19 g fat; 9 g saturated fat; 40 mg
cholesterol; 8 g protein; 38 g carbohydrate; 9 g sugar; 4 g
fiber; 645 g sodium; 120 mg calcium.
from "Essential Pepin," by Jacques Pepin
AND CARROT SOUP
tablespoons olive oil
medium onion, chopped
(2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
clove garlic, sliced
pounds carrots, sliced
of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish, optional
plain yogurt (not nonfat)
Warm oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion; saute until
softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; saute until
fragrant, about 1 minute.
Raise heat to medium-high; stir in carrots. Pour broth into
pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Remove cover, reduce heat
to medium to maintain a simmer and cook until carrots are
very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until
chilled, at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, stir in lime juice and yogurt. Season
with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled, garnished with
lime wedges if desired.
serving: 120 calories; 5 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 5 mg
cholesterol; 3 g protein; 16 g carbohydrate; 9 g sugar; 4 g
fiber; 430 g sodium; 90 mg calcium.
tablespoon minced ginger
chopped strawberries, divided
chopped pineapple, divided
cups chopped mango, divided
pieces lemon peel
pieces lime peel
pieces orange peel
cup fresh orange juice
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
tablespoons fresh lime juice
sprigs, for garnish
Saute the ginger in a medium pot over medium-high heat until
fragrant, about 2 minutes (no oil is necessary). Add 2 cups
strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup mango and the lemon,
lime and orange peels; cook for another 2 minutes. Add
water, sugar and fruit juices and bring to a simmer,
stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from
Allow mixture to cool slightly and then transfer in batches
to a blender or food processor. Puree and strain into a
large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup chopped strawberries, 1 cup
chopped pineapple, 3/4 cup chopped mango and blueberries.
Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Serve with mint sprigs for garnish.
serving: 220 calories; no fat; no saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 1 g protein; 55 g carbohydrate; 50 g sugar; 3 g
fiber; 6 g sodium; 25 mg calcium.
by Emeril Lagasse, via Food Network