When the produce of your local store, farmer’s market or your own garden is at its peak, it’s time to make fresh vegetables your food star.
It’s time to make summer soup.
In summer, you want to get the most out of your produce by extracting its flavors in a very pure and natural way. The less decoration, the less complexity, the better. Other flavors should not distract you from the freshness of your garden of grace.
As an added benefit, simple flavors usually come from simple cooking techniques.
In other words, summer soups are both delicious and easy to make. Win
I recently made four summer soups. Only one of them was cool, but each one, in its own way, was unforgettable.
We’ll start with the cold soup first. It’s called Beet-Fennel-Ginger Soup, and along with beets, fennel and ginger it’s also made from cabbage and vegetable stock.
“It’s borscht,” said one colleague. “You just made a brush” in March.
“It’s not a brush,” I said. “It’s not just beetroot soup, it has cabbage and vegetable stock …”
Well, that’s borscht. But this version is made without meat, so it’s a delicious vegetarian meal – or vegan, if you skip the yogurt dough on top.
It’s also lighter in tone and texture than the borsch I made in the past. Although it still has a sweet earthy accent derived from beetroot, it is also enlivened by the exotic fennel flavors, the fennel flavors and the hot bite of ginger.
When cleaned together – and these recipes require a lot of purification – the ingredients get better than their individual parts. The soup is also light and smooth, perfect for a hot summer evening.
I took the beautiful route for my next attempt, asparagus and shiitake mushroom soup. The recipe now comes from the tragically closed Trails restaurant, which was one of the best restaurants in Virginia in its heyday.
I’ve made asparagus soup many times, and loved it. I’ve made mushroom soup many times, and loved it. But I never thought of combining the two into one incredible dish. Marcel Desalniers, the original chef owner of this trail, has a kind of pure intelligence.
The resulting soup is wonderfully delicate, playing with the delicate, fresh spring-like flavor of asparagus from the satisfying Emami Gar of the sheet mushroom.
Suitable for a restaurant that also makes a dessert called Death by Chocolate, this soup is not for those who are counting the points of their weight watchers. A rich roux turns the texture of the soup into velvet, and all the flavors are combined with a cup of heavy cream.
I used half of it to save some calories. That way, I would feel better and healthier, even though I wasn’t.
My next soup also came from a famous restaurant. Cream of zucchini and almond soup was a dish served in a walnut room on Flagship State Street, a Marshall Field store in Chicago.
And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes.
Who would have thought that Zachini grass would be mixed with hot almond nuts? And then who would have thought that it would be mixed with cream soup?
But this is not the end of the dish. The soup is distinguished by its subtle inclusion of sweet spices: brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
This is a soup you’ve eaten before, unless you’ve been to the Walnut Room.
My last soup is to make it the easiest of them all. Sweet pea soup also has the latest flavor – although it uses frozen peas.
If you can find them, you can use fresh peas.
All you have to do is boil the peas, some sweet red pepper, a slice of onion and a carrot in chicken stock, vegetable stock or even ham stock. When the vegetables are well cooked, but only barely, you clean them for a silky smooth texture.
Season with salt and if you like, serve with croutons or crushed bacon.
I used both. It seemed like a hot thing.
2 1/2 cups red beets, peeled and chopped.
4 cups chopped cabbage
2 cups chopped fennel
1 clove of garlic, chopped.
3 tablespoons chopped ginger
8 cups vegetable storage, distribution
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fennel shoots
1. Mix beetroot, cabbage, fennel, garlic, ginger and 6 cups stock in a large soup bowl and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Sift the soup through a large mesh sieve. Pour the vegetables into 1 cup of hot broth in a food processor or blender until smooth (you may need to do this in between). Add the remaining hot broth and blend. If the soup is not drinkable consistency, add some of the remaining 2 cups of broth until it reaches your desired texture.
3. Cool at least 2 hours before serving. Season with salt and pepper. In cold bowls, if desired, serve with yogurt and fennel pieces. 8 serves.
Derived from “healthy cooking” at home with the American Culinary Institute.
Per serving: 60 calories; 1 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 1 g cholesterol; 3 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; Sugar 8 g 3G fiber; 756 mg sodium; 51 mg of calcium
Asparagus and Shiitake mushroom soup
1 pound of fresh asparagus
1/2 pound steak mushroom
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
4 stalks celery, chopped.
2 medium lakes, white part only, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped.
Salt and pepper
6 cups chicken stock
7 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whole purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream or half
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, and set aside. Boil 3 quarts of salt water.
2. Peel a stem from each stalk of asparagus, and secure. Lightly peel half of the stalk. Cut the safe ends and the remaining open asparagus into 1/4 inch pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate as needed. Blanch the peeled asparagus in boiling water. Don’t overcook Asparagus should be cooked but crispy. Transfer the blended asparagus to ice water.
3. When the blended asparagus has cooled, cut it into 3/4 inch pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate as needed.
4. Take out the mushroom stems and cut them. Cut and save caps.
5. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and water over medium heat. When hot, add chopped (1/4-inch) asparagus, mushroom stems, celery, leeks and onions. Add salt and pepper and fry till onion becomes translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
6. While the chicken stock is heating, melt the butter in a separate large saucepan over low heat. Add flour to make roux and stir constantly for 6 to 8 minutes. Put 4 cups of boiling stock in rocks and shake vigorously till smooth. Add the remaining stock and vegetables. Stir until well combined. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Puree in a blender or food processor. Strain into a 5 quart saucepan and return to low heat. Leave to simmer for a few minutes while completing the recipe (Note: If you are not serving the soup within 1 hour, do not complete the next step until it is ready to serve; otherwise, the delicate taste of asparagus And the color will deteriorate.
8. Heat the cream, chopped chives and 3/4 inch asparagus pieces in a non-stick suit pan over medium heat. When hot add to the soup and adjust the spice. Serve immediately. (This soup can be heated in a double boiler for 1 hour.) 8 offers.
Version from “The Trails Kickbook” by Marcel Desalniers.
Per serving: 250 calories; 18 g fat; 11 g saturated fat; 45 g cholesterol; 6 g protein; 19 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 3G fiber; 389 mg sodium; 58 mg of calcium
Zachary and almond soup cream
6 tablespoons onion, chopped.
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/3 cup zucchini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
5 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 tablespoons crushed almonds, see note
2/3 cup and a half or heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Note: You can use almond butter for crushed almonds. If you do not have it, grind the crushed almonds in a spice mill or grind them into small pieces with mortar and pestle.
Fry the onion in butter till soft. Add zucchini and chopped almonds. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and boil for 15 minutes. Add crushed almonds.
Boil for 10 minutes. Stir in cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat well. 8 serves.
Adapted from “Marshall Fields Gourmet: A Test of Tradition”.
Per serving: 134 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 20 g Cholesterol; 5 g protein; 8 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 218 mg sodium; 21 mg calcium
Sweet pea soup
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 (1 inch) slices sweet red bell pepper
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped.
4 cups chicken, ham or vegetable stock
2 cups frozen or fresh peas
Salt, to taste
Crispy bacon, optional.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add stock and boil for 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook until the peas are hot, 1 minute to freeze and 3 to 5 minutes to freshen. Add salt to taste. Blend until smooth. Serve with croutons and crushed bacon if desired. Serves 4.
Derived from “Vita Mix recipes for a better life”.
Per serving: 198 calories 7 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 5 g cholesterol; 7 g protein; 29 g carbohydrate; 13 g of sugar 7G fiber; 1,355 mg sodium; 49 mg calcium