I’m melting. You’re melting. Will this heat never end? Unfortunately I can’t tell Mother Nature what to do, but I can help you make delicious soups that will cool you inside and out!
I don’t know about you but hot soup on a hot day is very unappealing to me. So is heavy, greasy food. What I crave when it’s super hot is something fresh, healthy and easy. Meet, gazpacho! As Lisa from the Simpsons said: “It’s tomato soup, served iced cold!”. It’s a little more complex than that actually, but I guarantee once people try this, no one will tell you to go back to Russia.
1st thing first, you need a food processor to chop all the veg. If you don’t have one, you can always hand chop and then blend it a few times with a hand blender. The texture of the soup will be slightly different, but it’ll still taste great.
1 large field cucumber
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
4 medium tomatoes (I used 8 cocktail tomatoes, because I had a ton)
1 medium red onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups low sodium tomato juice or a can of puréed tomatoes with one cup of water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or white vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Using your food processor, chop all of the vegetables individually and transfer to a large bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir. Let sit in fridge, covered, for at least an hour. The longer it sits, the more the ingredients and flavours will blend. It will probably taste best the next day. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a nice pinch of flaky salt and a twist of pepper. If you want to jazz it up, toss some red pepper flakes and chopped herbs like basil or parsley on top.
It’s so refreshing. You’re getting so much flavour without any bad stuff. There’s barely any fat except the good fat from the olive oil and it’s low in sodium. In one bowl of soup I ate more veggies than I normally eat in one day! Which isn’t saying a lot about my diet these days…
I love to eat it as a meal with some crusty bread on the side, or as a quick lunch or snack to tide me over. I want to always have a vat of gazpacho in my fridge! It’s tasty, healthy and full of fibre and nutrients. Not to mention, it’s so beautiful. Yellow, orange, purple, red and green! Like a tasty rainbow.
Now that you know how to make a yummy colourful soup, how about a soup that looks like a blank canvas? I’d like to introduce you to a chilled cauliflower soup.
Julia’s chilled cauliflower soup
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large cooking onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 tbsp dried thyme or fresh. Add more of less to taste.
8 strips bacon
1 box of low/no sodium chicken broth (or use homemade!)
Cook the bacon in a frying pan and set aside on paper towel. Remove some of the bacon grease from the pan but reserve enough to sauté your onion, celery and garlic. If you want to make this vegetarian/vegan, omit the bacon and use a cooking oil of your choice instead. Once the onions are translucent and the celery has softened transfer them to a large pot or dutch oven and add the cauliflower and chicken broth. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Once it’s cooled a bit use a hand blender to purée or do it in batches in your blender. You can eat this warm but I prefer it chilled. After at least 30 minutes in the fridge, it’s ready to eat! Garnish with bacon pieces, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and serve with a nice crusty bread.
It’s so simple and tasty. This soup is very understated with minimal ingredients and it feels decadent without having any butter or cream. I mean, the bacon helps jazz it up but it’s not completely necessary. Fried capers and red pepper flakes would also taste great on top of this. It almost reminds me of a very light take on vichyssoise. The addition of potatoes or leeks to this recipe would also be very good. Remember, a recipe is never set in stone. Make it your own with what you have on hand and what you’re craving.
Now what are you waiting for? Go make yourself a nice comforting bowl of cold soup!