The hot weather is nearly here. We need to use all the tricks available to keep the temperature down. I suggest a refreshing first course chilled soup.
A chilled soup becomes an exciting cool beverage that really stimulates your appetite. It's best served in a wide-mouth glass or cup with a spoon, then the option of drinking it or eating it with a spoon is available. Croutons are also a nice addition to this unusual appetizer. Make sure it's spiced to perfection so your guests come back for more.
Chilled Zucchini-Cumin Soup
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 ½ tsps. ground cumin
- 1 ½ lbs. zucchini, trimmed, cut into 3/4 –in. pieces
- 2 14½ -oz. Cans parve [non-meat] chicken broth
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 4 tbsps. sour cream
- sliced fresh basil
Heat oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender; about 5 minutes. Add cumin; stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Mix in zucchini. Add broth; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until zucchini is very tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Mix 1/3 cup chopped basil into soup. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, or you can leave the soup in its chunky form. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, about 3 hours.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with 1 tbsp. sour cream and sliced basil.
Makes 4 servings.
Cold Melon Soup
- 2 ripe melons such as cantaloupe or honeydew
- 2 cups parve [non-dairy] creamer or milk
- 3 tbsps. chopped fresh mint leaves, plus additional garnish
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 4-6 tbsps. plain sour cream
Peel and seed the melons. Scoop out some melon balls with a melon baler and reserve them for garnishing. Coarsely chop the remaining melon to make 2-3 cups. Puree all the ingredients except the sour cream.
Strain and serve chilled, with a dollop of sour cream, additional mint leaves and a few reserved melon balls in each bowl.
Makes 4-6 servings.
- 1 16. oz. can tomato juice
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsps. wine or cider vinegar
- ½ medium green pepper
- 1 cup cucumber peeled
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup green onion
- 1 medium tomato peeled
- 4 ozs. chopped chilies
- 1 clover garlic minced or ¼ tsp. powder
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Pour tomato juice, oil, and vinegar into a blender. Cut vegetables into chunks, put into the blender. Add garlic, salt, pepper and chili pepper. Blend on medium speed until the vegetables are chopped. Chill thoroughly, 2 hours or longer. Can be made in advance.
May be garnished with cubed avocado, bean sprouts, chopped cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, parsley or croutons.
- 2 lbs. peaches – peeled, pitted and cubed
- 2 lbs. plums
- 1 lb. pears
- 1 lb. sour cherries – pitted
- 1 lb. apricots - optional
- 1 cup sugar
- approx. 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
Mix all fruit with sugar, cover with water. Boil on a slow flame 30-40 minutes, until tender. Add 1 tbsp. cornstarch to 1 cup cold water. Stir in slowly, add more cornstarch if needed. Serve very cold.
I received this recipe from Bubbie Irma, of blessed memory. A friend of hers sent it to her.
"This was my great aunt's recipe. She left Poland in 1939, just as the Nazis came in. She got a job in America as a housekeeper for a wealthy family on the Main Line outside Philadelphia, and taught herself to be a gourmet cook. The original recipe called for 4 small packages of frozen chopped spinach. I made that many times and it was always great. But then one day, I substituted cucumbers and onions for the spinach and it was also great. (I think I should also try it with other vegetables.)"
- 6-8 cucumbers – peeled
- 2 onions
- 8 cups water
- 1/3 bunch fresh chopped dill (or 1 tbsp. dry dill)
- 8 tsps. soup mix
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. black pepper
Cut the cucumbers and onions and place in a pot. Add the water and boil. Then add the dill, soup mix, lemon juice and black pepper. (DO NOT ADD SALT!) Simmer until cucumbers and onions are very soft. Mix in 1 small container of sour cream. Puree in blender. Chill. (It's also good hot.)
- There is also an old Polish recipe very similar to this, which calls for pickles instead of cucumbers and more pepper. It comes out with a similar taste to Chinese Hot and Sour Soup.
- To make it parve [non-dairy] – use Tofu Cream Cheese or parve sour cream if you can get it.
Makes 12 servings.