Recipes for Chilled Summer Soups

Recipes for chilled summer soups, including cooking recipes for minty cuke, blueberry, and roasted red pepper soups, gazpacho and vegan harvest chili.

| August/September 1997

MOTHER's Kitchen column shares recipes for chilled summer soups. 

When I was growing up in Michigan, it was tough to beat the summer heat. Neither our house nor our car was air-conditioned because back then it seemed only rich people could afford to be sweat less. Then our grandparents installed an air conditioner in their bedroom, which motivated us to drop in more often. My sister and I would run up the stairs and throw ourselves down on the cool bed, exhaling a sigh of relief. If our grandmother ever minded our sweaty, smelly bodies on her white bedding she never expressed it. After we cooled down, we'd return downstairs to the screened-in porch to lounge on the rattan furniture where our grandmother would bring us freshly squeezed lemonade and homemade cookies. Warm breezes and cold drinks made the time pass too quickly until sunset forced our departure.

My summers continue to remain the same. You can find me lounging in a lawn chair under a shady tree with a large pile of cooking magazines. I'll be drinking iced herbal tea with mint and munching on fresh fruit. You won't see me swimming laps or chasing after tennis balls. An occasional bike ride will fill my exercise quota. This is why I like to make light and easy soups using garden produce. I prepare the soups early in the morning so that the rest of the day is free. I don't mind eating them a few days consecutively served with a vegetable sandwich or salad. So cook light with recipes for chilled summer soups, keep cool and enjoy the summer's produce.

Minty Cuke Soup Recipe

I love this chilled soup on a steamy, hot day, and it takes only minutes to make. If you don't have chives or mint in your garden, try dill or cilantro.

Put into a blender:
1 cup unsalted chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3 small cucumbers, peeled
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/3 cup mint leaves (no stems)
2 large cloves, peeled and mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 - 4 drops hot sauce

Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl. Whisk in:
2 cups plain yogurt 

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