elevating the status of the salad

Category Archives: chilled soup

Thanks to Food and Wine for this refreshing chilled soup recipe. Here’s the link to the original. I pretty much followed it exactly, except I substituted 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar, as there was no sherry vinegar at the store. Also, I had a hard time straining out the solids, so I didn’t do much more than get a few colanders dirty before giving up on straining altogether. 

This is not the kind of soup to make into a meal. Instead, it would be perfect at the very start of dinner or between courses as a sort of palate cleanser (thanks to my husband for that idea). The recipe says it makes 6 servings, but I think this would make more like 8-10 smaller cups. In fact, this would be the perfect thing to use the 12 (!) espresso cups that I registered for 6 years ago, since I’m not usually making 12 cups of espresso at a time. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stale, crustless 1/2-inch white country bread cubes
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 1/4 cups blanched sliced almonds (I used slivered)
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber (This was one large cucumber for me)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used a small amount of red wine vinegar instead)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Shredded mint leaves, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the grape juice for 5 minutes, pressing to soften.
  2. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, until lightly golden; let cool. Transfer 1 cup of the almonds to a blender. Add the bread, cucumber, apple, grapes, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Puree until smooth. Strain the soup through into a bowl, pressing on the solids.(or make a mess with colanders in your kitchen). Whisk in the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the gazpacho into cups and garnish with the mint and remaining 1/4 cup of almonds. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

The evenings here in Brooklyn have been crisp and breezy; a reminder that fall is just around the corner. This soup is perfect for these last weeks of summer because you can enjoy it hot or cold. It is delicious served with a crisp tortilla layered high with sauteed eggplant, tomato and goat cheese.  Thanks to Jack Bishop, author of A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen for this and so many other tasty recipes, including the crisp tortilla one I just mentioned. 

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon gingerroot
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I had a red curry spice mix which I added to the original curry in give the soup some heat)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces starchy potato (either 1 large or 2-3 smaller ones)
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the squash and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and curry powder and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, potato, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potato is very tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Puree the soup in batches in a blender (or use an immersion blender) until very smooth. Adjust the seasonings. Transfer the soup to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least several hours (unless you want to have the soup hot!). The soup can be refrigerated for several days.
  3. When you are ready to serve the soup, puree the cilantro, lime juice, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.
  4. Taste the chilled soup and adjust the seasonings, adding salt as needed. Ladle the soup into small bowls. Drizzle some cilantro puree over each bowl and serve.

This soup is so refreshing! It is also extremely easy to make. You should prepare this at least a few hours in advance and then allow the flavors to chill in the fridge before serving. The ingredient list is definitely flexible, so feel free to adapt according to taste. Let me know if you make any good adjustments. 

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Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used fage 2%)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on how much you need to thin it out)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Place all ingredients in a large food processor, starting with only 1/4 cup water. Process until it is very smooth. If it is too thick, add more water until it is the consistency you want.