Soup may be a warm welcome on a chilly fall day, but that doesn’t mean you should rule these meals out during the dog days of summer. As Boulder culinary students will surely learn, soup can be a dish best served chilled.
Here are some cool takes on summer soups:
Summer minestrone soup
A medley of spring vegetables makes this seasonal minestrone soup recipe from Alice Hart, published in The Guardian, both timely and tasty.
Begin with oil and some aromatics: garlic, shallots, celery and fennel, all finely chopped and heated in a saucepan. Once they’re soft, add broad beans (remove the skins first), peas, sliced green beans and sliced asparagus spears. After about five minutes, pour in vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer for about 25 minutes. Add more beans, peas and asparagus and continue cooking for another five minutes.
To finish, add a handful each of mint and basil, along with thick cream. This last ingredient can be left out if you prefer a non-dairy option or a thinner soup base. Serve the soup chilled with a healthy dollop of pesto to top it off.
Summer squash soup
Summer squash soup is a classic, and Erin Alderson’s recipe on Naturally Ella shows the versatility of this meal. Alderson notes that she believes soup recipes can be flexible, possible to adjust according to what you have available at the time.
Her recipe begins with oil and onions in a pot over medium-low heat. Next, stir in yellow squash, carrots and yellow Yukon potatoes, all diced. Once the squash is soft, add garlic, cumin powder, coriander, turmeric, smoked paprika, mustard powder, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you’re so inclined).
The spices you choose define the ultimate flavor of the soup. Feel free to throw in some chipotle powder with cumin and coriander, or add some curry powder, instead of measuring out all these spices.
Next, add in some dry white wine and scrape up any stuck-on pieces of food that have accumulated at the bottom of the pan. Pour in the vegetable broth, bring to a boil and let simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked. Puree the soup with your favorite blender (stand or immersion – your choice). Add coconut milk and return to heat to warm up the milk. Serve with an additional drizzle of coconut milk, paprika and cilantro.
Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup
Cherries are bountiful in the Hungarian summertime, so it’s only natural that a tart cherry soup recipe would sprout from a plethora of this fruit. In her rendition of the traditional meggy leves (as it’s called in Hungary) published on The Spruce Eats, Barbara Rolek pointed out that most cherries will work for this recipe, as long as they’re not too sweet and definitely not canned.
Begin with a pound of pitted cherries in a saucepan with water and sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes. As they are cooking, mix sour cream, flour, salt and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Temper this mixture with a few ladles of liquid from the pot of cherries, then add to the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Simmer for five minutes, and don’t let it come to a boil. When it’s finished cooking, cool the soup in an ice bath, then refrigerate until cold. Place a square of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Meggy leves works both as an appetizer or dessert – it all depends on how you frame it (and whether you top it with sour or whipped cream).