It's hot. There is no denying it. And we would all like to get out of the kitchen ASAP. But then again, our conscience whispers that we need not forget — and tell our kids — to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Summer is prime time for many of them, and it's fun and easy to try cold soups that take advantage of summer's bounty. These are easy to prepare and "different" enough to coax appetites during those sultry summer days.
Chilled Melon Soup
This may be served as an appetizer or a dessert course for that special occasion. Great for a hot day.
- 4 cups cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
6 Tbsps. powdered sugar (or more)
4 cups orange juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
4 cups semi-dry white wine
mint sprigs, strawberries (optional)
Place melon cubes, powdered sugar, orange juice and lemon juice in blender or food processor. Puree. Place in a bowl, cover and chill for two hours.
Remove from refrigerator and mix in wine. Taste: you may wish to add more powdered sugar.
Return to refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.
Ladle into soup bowls.
Top with a sprig of mint or strawberries, if you wish.
Old-fashioned but tried and true. Appetizer or even snack.
- 4 medium beets, peeled and halved
3 Tbsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 container (6 oz.) plain yogurt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup dairy sour cream (optional)
Place beets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes or until tender.
While beets are cooking, melt sugar and water in a small pan while stirring. Be careful that the sugar doesn't caramelize.
Remove beets and pour remaining liquid into a large pitcher.
Chilled Tomato Basil Yogurt Soup
- 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 8 medium)
4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
2/3 cup chopped scallions or chives
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 Tbsps. dried basil
salt and pepper
chopped fresh tomato and/or chives
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add tomatoes and blanch 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place immediately in a large bowl of cold water. Peel, core and quarter.
Place tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add yogurt, green onions, sugar and basil. Puree until smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill for up to 8 hours.
Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with chopped tomato and/or chopped chives.
Mixed Fruit Soup
An old-time Israeli home-style restaurant dessert with Scandinavian origins.
- 2 lbs. ripe peaches, pealed and pitted
2 lbs. ripe purple plums, peeled and pitted
1 lb. pears, peeled and pitted
1 lb. cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup cold water
mint leaves (optional)
Place all fruit and sugar in large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Cook until fruit softens, about 1/2 to 3/4 hour.
Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Add to soup about 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Bring to a boil for the remaining 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate.
Serve topped with fresh mint leaves (optional).
Rivka Tal is a former Minnesotan who has lived in Jerusalem for the past 45 years. She is a food writer and translator. Email her at: [email protected]