Summer Soup

Cucumber Avocado Soup

Cucumber Avocado Soup.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

A delicious refreshing summer soup with a distinct taste of cucumbers, this recipe requires no cooking and is so quick to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large cucumbers, trimmed, peeled, sliced
  • ½ ripe medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx.
  • ¾ cup cold water, approx.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

GARNISH:

  • 1 Kirby cucumber, rinsed, dried, trimmed and cut into very small cubes.

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix and puree till silky and smooth.
  2. Adjust the consistency with cold water. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Serve chilled, garnished with cucumbers.
 
 

Parsnip Soup

Makes 8- 10 servings.

I have recently discovered parsnip, a neglected vegetable which is full of nutrients and has a touch of sweetness.  This soup is easy to prepare.  It’s creamy without any addition of cream, and it also freezes very well. I like to serve it warm or cold.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the shallots and slice. Peel the garlic and slice. Cut off and discard the roots and tough dark green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white part into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.
  2. Peel the parsnip, trim the ends and slice thickly.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots, garlic and leeks. Sauté over low heat for a minute. Add parsnips and 6 ½ cups of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Then lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the parsnips are tender.
  4. Cool the soup a little. Puree in a blender, in batches, until very smooth.
  5. Return the soup to the saucepan and adjust the consistency as needed with the reserved ½ cup of broth. Season to taste.

 

 
 

Summer Corn Soup

Makes 8 servings.

I love to make this soup in the summer when fresh corn is available. It is wonderful either cold or at room temperature.  A slightly different version of this recipe first appeared in my cookbook, Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper (See Note)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Kernels cut from 5-6- ears of corn (about 2½ cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, approx
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

PREPARATION

  1. Rinse the tomatoes, remove the core, then cut them in half widthwise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds (some seeds will remain). Cut the tomatoes into pieces.
  2. Cut the jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper.  Sauté over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes, 2½ cups of the broth and corn. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Cool a little.
  5. Purée the soup in the blender until very smooth. Strain the soup through a medium-mesh sieve, pushing the solids with the back of a ladle to obtain as much puree as possible. Be sure to scrape the underside of the sieve. Discard the pulp.
  6. Return the soup to the saucepan and adjust the consistency as needed with the remaining broth. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice.
  7. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Note

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin, plastic gloves to avoid irritating your skin or your eyes.

This soup freezes very well.  When reheating, whisk it as it begins to boil to bring back the creamy texture.

 
 

Leek Spinach Soup

Makes 4 servings.

This dish is a light summer soup that I like to serve cold or at room temperature with a dollop of plain yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 medium leeks, white part only, thinly sliced, washed thoroughly
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 tarragon sprigs, plus a few leaves chopped for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces plain yogurt

PREPARATION

  1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan. Add the leeks and garlic and simmer, stirring from time to time for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, 3 ½ cups of the broth and tarragon. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Lower the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes. The potatoes should be soft.
  4. Remove from heat, discard tarragon sprigs. Stir in spinach to combine.
  5. Cool the soup a little and then puree in blender, in batches, until very smooth.
  6. Adjust the consistency as needed with the extra ½ cup of broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with a spoonful of yogurt, and sprinkle with chopped tarragon.

NOTE

This soup freezes well, but be sure to whisk it before serving.