Secretary of the Interior

A Blog from the Editor of St. Louis At Home

Thursday, May 23, 2013 / 8:53 AM

Cold Soups on Hot Days

Cold Soups on Hot Days

 There are a few vegetables can be converted beautifully into cold soups, such as cucumbers, avocados, carrots, beets, tomatoes, and even leafy greens like Swiss chards and spinach. Many fruits, especially in the melon family, make divine summer desserts. I like to get the melons very ripe before I use them. Letting them sit on the counter until they attract the fruit flies will allow them to develop their sweetness further—they will be too soft for eating plain but perfect for the soup.

A few tips when making cold soups:

1. Since cold dulls flavor, you need to make sure to season well. Always taste the cold soups not only when making them, but also when ready to serve to see if salt or lemon juice is needed.

2. Make your soups at least a day in advance. This is what I love most about cold soups. There is no last-minute frenzy. Prepare soups early to allow plenty of time for flavors to mature and improve. For this reason, I usually make a few batches at a time to last me for a whole week.

My healthy addiction this time of the year is a savory cucumber avocado soup. I serve it as a first course for my girlfriends. I also like to serve in shot glasses for a buffet. It's a quick pick-me-up when I'm in a hurry and my favorite snack between meals.

Cucumber Avocado Soup

6 Iranian cucumbers, unpeeled and cut into large chucks (you can use English cucumber as well)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pit removed
4 garlic cloves
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
½ cup water (or more to thin)
½ cup apple juice
Juice from 2 large lemons
Salt to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Put all ingredients in a food processor, puree until smooth. Transfer to a container and keep in a refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes between 5-6 cups

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