Soup? Cool!

These soups are cool! Chilled soup recipes are unique because many are not even cooked.  Pureed vegetables with added flavorings are extremely refreshing.  They also keep your kitchen cool and comfortable.  Others are cooked, then chilled for a few hours before serving.  Many cold summer soups are made of fruits, while others may even combine veggies with fruit for unique flavor combinations.

This next recipe is great for do-ahead cooks.  It tastes better a day after it is made—so go ahead and prepare it in advance.

Summer corn soup

For the soup:

3 cups whole milk

3 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs, cobs broken in half and reserved*

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 cups water

2 tablespoons parsley, checked and chopped

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 bay leaf

Ground white pepper

For the garnish:

1/3 cup fresh corn kernels cut from about 1/2 ear of corn

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Sour cream

Bring milk and reserved corncob halves (not kernels) just to a boil in a heavy medium pot. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep while sautéing vegetables.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes (do not let onion brown). Add corn kernels, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water, herbs, bay leaf, and milk with corncobs. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Discard corncobs and bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Puree soup using a blender until very smooth. Strain into a large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season soup to taste with salt and white pepper. Cover and chill overnight.

Mix corn, scallions, and pinch of cayenne. This can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

To serve, allow soup to come to room temperature. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle with corn and scallion mixture.  Top with a teaspoon of sour cream and serve.

*This recipe can be prepared from frozen corn cobs; just defrost before beginning.

Avocado Soup

3 ripe avocados

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup walnut halves

1/3 cup fresh dill sprigs, plus more for garnish (optional)

1/3 cup diced red onion

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Halve and pit two avocados. With a spoon, scoop out flesh and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add milk, butter walnuts, dill, red onion, vinegar, salt, and 1 cup water and puree until smooth.

Cover the blender and refrigerate until the soup is well chilled, at least one hour. Halve and pit remaining avocado. Cut into four sections lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks. Divide soup among four bowls and garnish each with diced avocado and dill, if desired.

If you like things cold and “hot,” our next soup is for you! Very cool cucumbers combined with hot wasabi cream are a unique combination.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

3 English cucumbers, peeled and cut in chunks

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

For the avocado cream:

1 ripe California avocado, peeled and pitted

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 (8-oz) container plain yogurt

2 finely chopped scallions

1 1/2 cups ice cubes

chopped scallion greens, or croutons for optional garnish

Purée cucumbers with water, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Mash together avocado, lemon juice, and remaining teaspoon salt until smooth. Whisk in yogurt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, blend soup with ice until smooth. Serve topped with avocado cream and a sprinkle of chopped scallions.

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.