It has been H-O-T hot for the last few days and we live our life sans air conditioning. Most of the time I am able to take the enlightened "it's much better for the environment and saves money" attitude about not having AC. However, there are those times when I go to bed hot, wake up hot, and sweat all day and I would give anything for a cool breeze. On those days the idea of cooking and turning on the oven or stove is absolutely horrifying. This is where summer soup comes in. I keep vegetables and vegetable juice in the refrigerator all summer long. When the occasion calls for it, I fill a bowl with chopped veggies and use vegetable juice for broth. Voila, instant cold soup (similar to gazpacho) that is satisfying and cooling all at once.
- Fill a bowl with chopped vegetables, I like:cucumber, fresh sweet corn, celery, tomatoes, and black beans. Carrots, jicama, bell pepper, minced onion, fresh garlic, and thinly sliced cabbage are other tasty options.
- Cover contents with vegetable juice (V8 or something comparable)
This soup is very versatile. By combining different garnishes you can serve it many different ways. Don't be afraid to play around omit and substitute, these are just suggestions.
- Latin American: Crumbled mild white cheese (queso blanco), hot sauce or salsa, cilantro, fresh lime juice, and roasted chilies.
- Classic Americana: Sharp grated cheddar, chopped pickles, fresh ground pepper, croutons, and sliced hard boiled egg.
- Mediterranean: Spicy green olives, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, or flat leaf parsley), fresh lemon juice, and feta cheese.
~The possibilities are endless...~