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Refreshing soups to savour this summer

india Updated: Jun 02, 2012 14:18 IST
Rupali Dean

In this heat, try to keep your food easy, cool and light. Keep preparation to a minimum, and avoid heat-generating appliances. That means there’s no better time to slurp up some cold soups!

You could be lukewarm about cold soups and associate them with baby food made out of leftovers, but it takes a friend to whip up a delicious cold soup in a blender… leftover roasted tomato, vegetable broth and some herbs… and mama mia, you’d be a convert!

Cold soups are fun, conversational and best of all, a great way to stay cool. Pair it with a fabulous salad made with some great fare from your local market and you have a great summer meal that doesn’t require your stove top, oven or grill. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Cold treatment
The king of cold soups is the Spanish Gazpacho, crammed with nutritious vegetables; the classic version has cucumber, though you could use zucchini.

Another hot (read cold) favourite is the Ceviche, basically a seafood soup that requires no cooking owing to the acid in the fresh lime juice cooking the shrimp. Add jalapeno pepper, green chillies, chilli powder, cumin and tortilla chips to it and it’s superlative.

Robust yoghurt-based soups make hearty meals with lots of texture, and you can pack them with nutritious ingredients like spinach, greens, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Nothing is more appealing than icy-cold soups with slightly spicy accents. They are equally satisfying, whether offered as a starter or as a light main course. Chilled soups usually need stock, so keep in mind if you start out using a bad-tasting stock — your soup will be bad too!

Gazpacho Soup

6 pcs fresh tomato, 200 gms cucumber, red, yellow and green peppers about 120 gms each, salt to taste, pepper from the mill, 60 gms bread croutons, 5 gms espellette chilli powder, a few cloves, 80 gms tomato paste, Tabasco sauce to taste

Peel the tomatoes by removing the skin with a knife and keep it to decorate the centre of the plate.
Blend the tomatoes, the cucumber, the three kind of peppers (keep 30 gms of each pepper diced for serving separately with bread croutons)
Make a paste of olive oil, chili powder, salt, pepper, tomato and blend it for 2/3 minutes.
Check for seasoning. Cover with cling film and keep in the chiller.
Serve chilled. Also serve separately 10 gm of croutons, red peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, per person. Serve in a chilled plate or soup bowl.

By Chef Thomas Figovc, Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon

Mulberry-n-yoghurt cold soup

400 gms mulberry (shehtoot), 150 gms low fat yoghurt, a pinch of rock salt, 10 ml lemon juice

Blend mulberries in blender; add yoghurt, rock salt and lemon juice.
Add crushed ice
Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and fresh mulberry.
Serve chilled.

By Chef Gagandeep, Qube, Leela Palace Hotel

Did You Know?
Frank Sinatra always asked for chicken and rice soup to be available to him in his dressing rooms before he went on stage.

Cold Tips
Chill your soup in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pour the soup into shot glasses and pass them around as an aperitif.
Chill the soup bowls.
Leftover pasta tastes good as garnish.