Sometimes nothing beats the heat better than a bowl of chilled soup. Gazpacho is classic, but why not try building soups around other refreshing ingredients, like cucumber, avocado and peas? Check out these ideas from our Test Kitchen:
Chilled cucumber soup: Mild yet refreshing, chilled cucumber soup comes together in about 20 minutes, combining cucumbers with tangy yogurt, a little garlic and bright vinegar. Make it first thing in the morning, then chill until ready to serve for dinner. Garnish with slivered radish and julienned basil right before serving. You can find the recipe below.
Chilled avocado and watercress soup with shrimp: Creamy avocado and fresh, slightly peppery wartercress, marry perfectly together in this soup topped with shrimp.
Chilled pea soup with fines herbes: Use fresh or frozen peas as the flavor base for this simple soup, which combines the rich flavors of onion, chicken broth, tangy creme fraiche and fresh fines herbes (tarragon, parsley, chervil and chives).
CHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP
Total time: About 20 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 4 to 6
Note: From test kitchen director Donna Deane.
2 European cucumbers (about 1 pound each), cut into 2-inch chunks
2 cups plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons slivered radish (1 to 2 radishes), reserved in ice water
Maldon sea salt
4 small basil leaves, cut into julienne strips
1. In a blender, puree the cucumber and yogurt together in batches until smooth. Pour each batch into a large bowl.
2. Stir in the garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. This makes about 6 cups soup.
3. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight until well chilled.
4. To serve, top each serving with slivered radish, a sprinkle of Maldon salt and a few julienne-cut basil leaves.
Each of 6 servings: 76 calories; 5 grams protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 1 gram fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 351 mg. sodium.