Soup is comfort food, and we love curling up with a nice steaming bowl of goodness when the nights are chilly. When warm weather strikes, however, we dread the thought of sipping hot broth. Even though the temperatures are climbing, you don’t have to forego your bisque or chowder. You can still whip up great-tasting and aromatic warm and cold soups, taking advantage of all the wonderful seasonal produce your farmer’s market has available.
What I love about summer soups is their flexibility and wide variety of tastes. You can prepare them on the stovetop or in your blender. You can also make a big pot of vegetable soup and add chicken, ground turkey or shrimp throughout the week to change up your meals. Having vegetable or chicken stock on hand ensures that you can have soup for dinner any day of the week.
The following three soups are hearty, flavorful and simple to prepare. They make a wonderful addition to your summertime menu.
- 5 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 small potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 1 cup fresh peas or 1/2 package frozen peas
- 1/2 small onion
- 1/4-inch lemon peel
- Cook potatoes, peas and onion with 4 cups broth in saucepan until potatoes are tender.
- If you want a smoother consistency, place cooked vegetables, remaining broth and lemon peel in your blender and pulse for about 30 seconds. Yields six cups.
This is a gorgeous soup that’s just perfect for a hot summer night. For variation and added flavor, add 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves as the other vegetables are cooking.
- 5 large carrots, chopped
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
- 1 medium head cabbage, chopped
- 3 sweet bell peppers, diced
- 8 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup green beans (optional)
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender. Yield 12 servings.
Cabbage soup isn’t just for weight loss. It’s a flavorful dish that uses some of the freshest ingredients from your farmer’s market. For variation, I like to brown a pound of ground turkey with a tablespoon of olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and then add this meat to the vegetables when they’re al dente. Mix well, turn off the heat and put the lid on so the flavors can meld.
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup soymilk or skim milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoon honey or agave
- 1/2 medium honeydew sliced
- 1/2 small lemon, peeled
- 3 large mint leaves
- Place all ingredients in your blender in the listed order and blend on high.
- Blend for 1 minute and chill before serving. Yield 4 cups.
As you can see, this fruit soup only requires a few Ingredients, no cooking and is perfect on a warm day. A dollop of yogurt gives the melon soup a nice appearance and extra zing!
Ann Martin is a contributing writer for www.dinnerwarecenter.com, which specializes in dinnerware and flatware sets. You can see the Noritake collection here. She writes for numerous cooking websites and loves to prepare new dishes for her family and friends. Ann enjoys international travel and reading the classics.
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