Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Souper Summer Dinners

Soup? In the summer? You bet! Soups don't have to be heavy and hot. If you've had enough salads to last you the next few months, here are a couple of recipes for yummy and simple summertime soups to create from your garden and farmer's market bounty. Both are vegan (if you use veggie broth and skip the worcestershire) and ultra-healthy.

Creamy Ginger-Carrot Soup

  1. 2 14-oz cans of broth
  2. 1 can water
  3. 1 lb carrots
  4. 1/2 chopped fresh ginger

Cut carrots to 2-3 inch sections. Bring broth and water to a boil in a saucepan and add carrots. Cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered until carrots are tender, adding water as needed to cover carrots. When carrots are cooked, empty pan--liquid, carrots, and all--into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and serve at room temperature.

Here's what mine looked like. I served it with a substantial bread (like ciabatta or focaccia) and a cheese plate. It comfortably serves 4-5 adults. This recipe would work with any starchy vegetable.

Gazpacho is healthy, cheap, and requires no cooking whatsoever, so why aren't we eating it every day? I had trouble finding a viable recipe and therefore ended up coming up with my own variation. My preschoolers loved it and called it ketchup-o.


  1. 4 large tomatoes, chopped, peeled, and seeded
  2. 1/2 onion, so finely chopped it's almost pulverized
  3. 1 cucumber, chopped and peeled
  4. 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  5. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  6. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  7. 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  8. 1 Tbsp chives
  9. 1 Tbsp parsley
  10. 2 tsp sugar
  11. 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  12. 1/8 cup olive oil
  13. 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  14. 4 cups vegetable juice (like V8)
  15. Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Combine all in large bowl. Blend half in blender on pulse setting until just blended--don't completely paste-ify it. Add back to bowl and mix well. Blend more if the consistency isn't right; otherwise, chill and serve. This tastes better as it ages!

I sprinkled a little cotija cheese on top and served with french bread. This was a huge hit with my husband and kids, who are usually unrepentant carnivores. It's easily enough for 6 enthusiastic eaters, even 7 or 8.

Check back in a few days for more on my family's ever greener lifestyle and more veggie-full recipes!