August 10, 2012

Cooling Summer Soups

Save a quart of two of these soups in the freezer to enjoy this winter!

Zucchini Basil Soup

You will need:
2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups water, divided
1/3 cup packed basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste

Cook onion and garlic in oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop zucchini into chunks.
Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt and saute, stirring occasionally for 10 more minutes.

Add 3 cups water, bring to a boil, and simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes.

Purée soup with basil in 2 batches in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and black pepper if desired. Serve with sourdough bread and goat cheese or toasted almonds to make a meal!

Cucumber Soup with Avocado Nutmeg Garnish

For the soup:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
4 cups peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumbers, divided
1 cup water
1 cup almond or rice milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each: cumin and coriander
Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the garnish:
1 avocado, diced
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Add lemon juice, cucumber slices, water, milk, and spices.
Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnish by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl.

Transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree it.

Serve the soup warm or refrigerate and serve it chilled. Just before serving, garnish with the avocado nutmeg delight! Enjoy with a fresh tomato and feta salad and corn tortillas or cornbread.

Baby Beet and Carrot Soup with Tahini Beet Green Garnish

For the soup:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 medium shallots, diced
4 medium-sized red beets, cut into 1 inch chunks
10 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
**If the new beets and carrots from your garden or market are smaller, just increase the quanties.
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt

For the garnish:
1 cup baby beet greens, washed and minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon tahini

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.
Add shallots and sauté for several minutes until translucent.
Add the carrots to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the beets, ginger, garlic, and cook for another few minutes.

Add the stock and salt. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and cover partially, cooking for about 1 hour, or until the carrots and beets are fork tender.

Meanwhile, mince the beet greens. Place them in a sauce pot with ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes with the pot lid askew.
Drain liquid and toss greens with salt, lemon juice, and tahini.
Set aside.

Using an immersion blender or food processor, purée the contents of the pot.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with beet green mixture. Enjoy with sourdough bread, cooked rice, and tempeh or chicken. Delicious!

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