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Cool Down With a Summer Soup

People always talk about how warm and nourishing hot soups are in the winter, but there are summer soups that give you as much flavor and nourishment—along with a burst of refreshing cool sizzle.

If you’re looking for a great cool soup idea that you can pair with a chunk of good bread and a relaxing evening of streaming shows or Lincoln Casino spins, check out these summer soup recipes.

Corn Soup

A summer day is often illustrated with a picture of people at a barbeque eating corn on the cob, but you can enjoy your corn in a nice cold soup as well. The trick is to pair it with the right herbs so that the taste of the corn is enhanced, rather than overpowered.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large pot and add 1 cup of chopped shallots. Stir and cook until the shallots are translucent. Add 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth and corn kernels that were cut off six uncooked corn cobs. You can use frozen or canned corn, but it won’t come out quite the same. Cook together for about 10 minutes and then allow it to cool. Purée in a food processor or using a handheld immersion blender. Then strain the soup with a sieve and discard the bits of kernels and fibers so that the soup is smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook 2 more corncobs and slice the kernels off. Add those kernels to the soup along with garnish of 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped basil and 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme. Serve cold. This soup can also be frozen.

Gazpacho

When people say “cold soup,” they often think of gazpacho, a tomato-based soup that, if properly seasoned, is a gourmet delight. If you don’t season it properly, it’s just a bunch of tomatoes and cucumbers mixed together.

To make, blend together:
6 of the reddest tomatoes that you can find. They should be juicy and fleshy. No need to peel them, the peel goes nicely in the soup.
3 firm cucumbers
1 bell pepper (green, orange, red or yellow; color doesn’t matter except as it colors the soup)
Half of a red onion
Two small garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. olive oil (use more if you want)
1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
2 slices of white bread with the crusts cut off (let the bread sit in the soup and soak up the juice before you blend it in)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or to taste)

Summer Minestrone

The great thing about summer minestrone is that it’s full of beans and pasta, which means that it can be served as a meal in itself. There are many different types of minestrone and all can be made exactly as you would make a hot minestrone soup and then cooled.

But this minestrone, with its tomatoey base and light basil seasoning is especially suitable for a summer day. It’s not a soup to make if you are rushed, but if you have time to chop, sautee and stir, you’ll have a one-dish summertime meal.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large, heavy pot and add 2 diced carrots, 1 diced celery stalk, 1 diced turnip and 4 diced garlic cloves. Sautee until the vegetables are soft. Add in 6 large peeled diced tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes. Add 2 diced zucchini and keep sauteeing. Add 2 quarts of water or broth and a bouquet garni (a parmesan rind, 3 sprigs of thyme and 3 sprigs of parsley tied together). Mix in a can of cannellini or borlotti beans and pasta. Pasta should cook for no more than 10 minutes in the boiling soup. Salt and pepper the soup to taste. Take off the fire and cool.

Cook 1 lb. of green beans in a separate pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes and then put the beans in ice water. Add the beans to the cooled soup and top with chopped basil. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top and serve.

Greek Yogurt Soup

If there’s anyone who knows how to stay cool in the summer, it’s the Greeks. Greek yogurt soups are a staple of Greek and Mediterranean cooking. You can make Greek Yogurt Soup with pureed broccoli, squash or other vegetables—or just make it creamy and mild with herbs and garlic. Serve it with some crusty bread, and you have the perfect meal.

Whisk together 3 cups of low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 cups of milk.
Grate 1 lb. of Persian cucumbers into a separate bowl with 1 tsp. crushed garlic. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumbers and whisk them into the soup. Salt and pepper the soup to taste; if you wish, you can add more crushed garlic. Add in 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill and refrigerate.

Serve chilled with chopped mint for garnish. If you want, you can add more milk to thin the soup, lemon juice for taste or chopped walnut for a crunch.

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