Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spicy, Chilly Summer Garden Soup

Some days, it’s just too darn hot to do anything. Anything. Including just sitting in front of a fan.

I suppose that I should be grateful that these hot summer days didn’t appear until August, and that up until last night it wasn’t terribly hot in the bedroom at night, and that I have an excuse for sitting in one spot, drinking lemonade, and clearing up a stack of paperwork. But it’s soooooo HOT. :) Complain, complain…

I received an e-mail from Vegetarian Times which included a soup recipe, Farmers’ Market Chilled Salsa Soup. It sounded good, perfect for this kind of a day, and I thought that I would create my own version of this soup. A version containing zucchini, of which I have a huge quantity in the refrigerator and more ready to be picked every day.

My garden is also bursting with peppers-- bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, long green-yellow banana peppers. These needed to be used, too. But the only obstacle was my dear husband. To Jack, soup is not a proper meal. If it is thick and contains chicken or turkey and is served on a frigid winter day, then he will not complain too much about eating it for lunch. I once tried a chilled soup on a hot summer day, about 5 years ago, and that was such a spectacular dud that I never tried again.

Until today.

I could not imagine doing anything near heat today (including using the outdoor grill), and Jack was working outside in the 90+ degree temperatures so I figured that he would feel the same way. Using the VT recipe as a guide, and with the goal of decreasing the amount of vegetables in the refrigerator before more were harvested in the garden, I made what I am calling Spicy, Chilly Summer Garden Soup. I gave it a southwestern flair by adding cumin, lime, and chili peppers. Cool sour cream and spicy salsa spooned on each bowlful made the flavors come together and just sing. But don’t take my word for it.

I set the bowls on the table, Jack looked at me. Cold soup! Horrors!!! But he, too, was quite warm after his outside labors and he took a cooling mouthful. And another. And another! In fact, he raved about this soup so much that I thought he was being sarcastic, and it wasn’t until he asked for a second serving that I realized—he likes it! Wow.

I served this soup with steamed corn tortillas (heated in the microwave to soften, fortunately they didn’t give off too much heat!).

A note: peppers vary widely in spiciness even within the variety. Even within the row in the garden! The one 5” long banana pepper which I used was enough to make the soup very spicy, and Jack added chipotle because he is... crazy.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spicy, Chilly Summer Garden Soup

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings : 3

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

----------- ---------- -------------------------------------

7 ounces cucumber -- peeled, roughly chopped

3 ounces green bell pepper -- roughly chopped

2 ounces banana pepper -- roughly chopped

4 ounces anaheim chili pepper -- roughly chopped

1 pound zucchini -- roughly chopped

3 medium garlic cloves -- chopped

4 large green onions -- white and tender green parts chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper -- optional

1/4 cup light sour cream

2 tablespoons skim milk

6 tablespoons salsa

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro -- optional

In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers through cumin. Place about half of this mixture into an 8-cup blender, along with all of the water, and blend until almost smooth. Add the remaining vegetable mixture, in batches, blending all until smooth. Taste and add chipotle, if desired.

Return to the large bowl and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Mix the sour cream and milk until smooth. Divide the soup between bowls, drizzle with a generous portion of sour cream and dollop of salsa. Sprinkle with salsa. Serve.


"6 cups"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 179 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat (2g Saturated); (45% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 2mg Cholesterol; 639mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

*Note- the vegetables were weighed after removing the stem end (s) and coring.


Ashley said...

This looks like a great summer soup!

Vicci said...

It tastes so good but is also great at using some of the piles of garden produce hanging around in my fridge... ;)