When the temperature rises, few things refresh like a bowl of chilled soup. Think beyond just gazpacho and vichyssoise. Garden vegetables, melons, and stone fruits are now taking center stage. Here are three healthy chilled soups to help you keep cool this summer.
Not Your Grandma’s Chilled Borscht
Yield: 6 servings
Beets are an excellent source of folate, and are high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
1/2 pound small beets, trimmed and scrubbed
6 cups water
2 shallots, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
Light sour cream
Chopped hard boiled eggs
Diced cooked red potatoes
Chopped fresh dill
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the beets, water, shallots, bay leaf, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer, until the beets are tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Remove the beets from the broth with a slotted spoon. Under cool running water, slip the skins from the beets, quarter them, and return to the saucepan. Simmer an additional 20 minutes.
3. Remove the bay leaf and cool slightly. With a hand blender, pulse several times to achieve a coarse texture. Refrigerate several hours.
4. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl, and add your preferred garnishes.
Luscious Avocado and Shrimp Soup
Yield: 4 servings
Avocados get a bad rap as far as fat is concerned—but it’s time to shift that thinking. Not only are avocados full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, but they also contain anti-inflammatory compounds.
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
1 small garlic clove, halved
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Italian parsley
3/4 cup ice water
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 cup cooked shrimp, chopped
1. In a food processor, pulse to combine the avocado, cucumber, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, parsley and ice water. Process until creamy.
2. Add the buttermilk and pulse to combine. Refrigerate several hours. Add a splash more ice water or buttermilk to thin soup before serving, if desired.
3. Serve in chilled cups garnished with the shrimp.
Zucchini and Green Pea Soup
Yield: 4 servings
With its high water content, zucchini is very low in calories, weighing in at less than 20 calories per cup. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium and fiber. Green peas score high in vitamins A, C, and K as well as fiber and folate.
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Plain yogurt for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the zucchini and peas and continue to sauté another 3 minutes.
3. Add the broth and oregano, bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Set aside to cool. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. With a hand blender, puree the soup. Refrigerate several hours.
5. Serve chilled, garnish with a swirl of yogurt.