Satisfying soups to see you through the summer

The Washington PostJune 26, 2012 

SOUP121

Summer soups. Clockwise, from top left: Cold Yellow Zucchini Soup, French-Style Summer Pistou, Soupergirl's White Bean and Corn Soup, West Coast Manila Clams With Garlic Tomato Broth, Beet and Tomato Bisque, and Cold Cherry and Tomato Soup.

DEB LINDSEY — The Washington Post

  • Cold Cherry and Tomato Soup Adapted from a recipe by chef Jose Andres of ThinkFoodGroup. To retain the soup’s light-red hue, use a pale-colored sherry vinegar. A darker one will taste fine, but it will make the soup look brown. The soup needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. 1 1/2 pounds (about 6) plum tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters 1 small (4 ounces) green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped 18 ounces fresh sweet cherries, pitted, plus several halved and pitted cherries for garnish 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 clove garlic 6 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste (up to 3 cups) 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons salt, to taste COMBINE the tomatoes, bell pepper, cherries, sugar, lemon juice, garlic and sherry vinegar in a blender and puree into a thick liquid, working in batches if necessary. The mixture will turn a lovely pink color. Taste for acidity, which will vary according to the sweetness of the tomatoes and cherries, and add a little vinegar if needed. ADD the oil and salt to taste and re-blend. Transfer to a storage container, straining it through a fine-mesh strainer if you want a perfectly smooth soup, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold, garnished with the fresh cherry halves. Yield: 6 cups (12 servings) PER 1/2-CUP SERVING: 210 calories, 1 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar
  • Beet and Tomato Bisque This soup can be served hot or cold. From Debbie Amster, a holistic health coach, cooking teacher and healthful-foods caterer based in Olney, Md. 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup) 1 medium clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 pound (4 small) red beets, peeled 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut crosswise in half 28 ounces canned plum tomatoes, drained 4 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable or chicken broth 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons) 2 tablespoons minced parsley Sour cream or yogurt, for garnish HEAT 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the beets, carrots, tomatoes, broth and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, adjusting the heat so the liquid is just barely bubbling around the edges. USE an immersion (stick) blender, and blend briefly to a coarse puree. (Alternatively, if you use a blender, transfer in batches; remove the center knob from the lid and cover the opening with a towel to contain splash-ups.) STIR in the pepper, lemon juice, parsley and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve hot or cold, garnished with sour cream or yogurt. Yield: 8 cups (8 servings) PER 1-CUP SERVING (USING VEGETABLE BROTH): 140 calories, 3 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar
  • Soupergirl’s White Bean and Corn Soup Mellow white miso paste is the mildest and least-salty form of miso; you can substitute regular white miso, but it’ll be saltier, so be sure to taste as you go along. The dried beans need to soak overnight. From Sara Polon, a.k.a. Soupergirl, owner of the Soupergirl restaurant in D.C. 2 cups dried white beans (preferably baby butter beans or baby lima beans), rinsed and soaked in water to cover overnight 12 cups water 5 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups), plus 1 whole peeled carrot for the beans 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups), plus 1/2 onion for the beans 2 ears fresh corn 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 tablespoons minced garlic (from about 9 medium cloves) 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 3/4 cup) 3 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves (from about 5 stems) 1 tablespoon chopped dill 1/3 cup mellow white miso Pinch salt Pinch freshly ground black pepper DRAIN and rinse the soaked beans and transfer them to a large stock pot or soup pot. Add the whole carrot and 1/2 onion to the pot. Add the 12 cups of water and cook over medium-high heat until the water barely begins to bubble, then reduce the heat and cook, keeping the water barely bubbling around the edges of the pot, for about 30 minutes or until the beans are barely tender. USE a knife to slice the kernels from the corn cobs. After the beans have been cooking for 20 minutes or so, add the cobs (but not the kernels) to the pot; they will release a milky substance. HEAT the oil in a separate large saucepan over medium heat and add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the chopped carrots and celery. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the celery and carrots have softened. Add the cabbage to the saucepan and cook just to heat through. DISCARD the carrot and onion from the pot with the beans. Stir in the vegetables from the saucepan, then add the corn kernels and cook until the corn and cabbage have softened, about 10 minutes. ADD the basil and dill and turn off the heat. Add the miso and stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot or warm. Yield: 15 cups (15 servings) PER 1-CUP SERVING: 150 calories, 8 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar
  • Cold Yellow Zucchini Soup A potato in the mix helps create a thick, silky soup. Make sure to use yellow zucchini, not yellow summer squash; it has a more vibrant color. The soup needs to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours before serving. From Debbie Amster, a holistic health coach, cooking teacher and healthful-foods caterer based in Olney, Md. 6 thin leeks, chopped (1 pound; about 5 cups) 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter Sea salt 1 pound yellow zucchini, sliced (about 3 cups; see note) 1 medium white boiling potato, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) No-salt-added vegetable or chicken broth or water (about 4 cups) Freshly ground black pepper Chopped dill, for garnish FILL a bowl with cold water and add the chopped leeks; soak them briefly to dislodge any grit. Use a strainer to scoop the leeks out of the water, and use paper towels to pat them dry. HEAT the oil or butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt; cook until the leeks have softened, about 6 minutes. Add the zucchini and potato, then add enough broth to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, adjusting the heat so that the liquid is barely bubbling at the edges. USE an immersion (stick) blender and blend to a thick puree. (Alternatively, if you use a regular blender, transfer in batches; remove the center knob from the lid and cover the opening with a towel to contain splash-ups.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. ALLOW the soup to cool, then transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. When ready to serve, garnish with sprigs of dill. Yield: 7 1 / 2 cups (about 7 servings) PER 1-CUP SERVING (USING OLIVE OIL AND VEGETABLE BROTH): 110 calories, 2 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar
  • West Coast Manila Clams With Garlic Tomato Broth This rich broth gets brightness from tomato and fennel and a deep brininess from clam juice. Because of that brininess, use low-sodium broth, and be sure to taste the soup before adding salt. Manila clams are sweet and small. In a pinch, you can substitute littleneck clams. Adapted from a recipe by Tracy O’Grady, chef at Willow restaurant in Arlington, Va. 48 Manila clams (may substitute 60 littleneck clams) 1 large bulb fennel, about 20 ounces 8 medium cloves garlic 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tablespoon fennel seed 1 cup dry sherry One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably Cento brand 3 cups bottled or canned clam juice 3 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, vegetable broth or water 12 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine into a bouquet, plus 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1 cup cooked orzo pasta 2 tablespoons picholine olives, pitted and sliced into thin strips (julienne) Salt Cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons basil leaves cut into thin strips (julienne) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter CLEAN the clams by rinsing them under cold water and scrubbing them with a vegetable brush to remove all sand. Refrigerate until ready to cook. CHOP the fennel coarsely and crush 5 cloves of the garlic. HEAT a 6-quart nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil along with the fennel, garlic and fennel seed. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sherry and cook to reduce it by half, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, broth and thyme bouquet. Cook, adjusting the heat so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges, for 45 minutes. Strain the tomato-clam broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl or saucepan, discarding the solids. HAVE a small bowl of ice water at hand. FILL a small saucepan with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and boil for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to the ice water. Allow to cool, then remove and pat dry. Slice to yield 2 tablespoons. JUST before you are ready to serve, heat a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil and the slices of blanched garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden brown, then increase the heat to medium-high and add the clams and the tomato-clam broth. As the clams open, remove them from the saucepan and place 8 clams in each serving bowl. Discard any clams that have not opened. BRING the broth to a boil and add the orzo and olives. Season with salt, pepper, the 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves and the basil, then whisk in the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Pour the hot broth over each portion of the clams, and serve immediately. NOTE: If you use littleneck clams, it is best to remove them from their shells after they open; place the clams in the individual bowls and discard the shells, then proceed with the recipe. Yield: 6 servings NUTRITION Ingredients are too varied for a meaningful analysis.

If you think nourishing soup is just for winter, think again. Summer soups satisfy us in lighter ways and make use of the fresh produce piled high at the farmers market.

And on those extra-hot days when the last thing you want to do is fire up the stove, some of them require nothing but a knife and a blender to get them to the table.

Here you’ll find soups both hot and cold that pay homage to the season.

For a printable version of these recipes, click the links:

Cold Cherry and Tomato Soup

Beet and Tomato Bisque

Soupergirl’s White Bean and Corn Soup

Cold Yellow Zucchini Soup

West Coast Manila Clams With Garlic Tomato Broth

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