Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth
Cold soups are very refreshing when the temperatures start to rise and are also pretty tasty when they start to dip. To achieve the best results there are a few tips to follow. Chilled soups are great as an appetizer or a main course when you just want lighter fare.
Even though you’ll be starting with chilled ingredients, allowing the soup to chill a little longer makes for a better blend of the flavors. If you want to serve cold soups right away you can replace some of the liquid with crushed iced, but keep in mind that this may also dilute the flavor.
To blend the soups use a food processor, blender or an immersion blender. Another option is to chop some of the fruit by hand in small pieces for a chunkier consistency. Use a light hand when processing no matter what appliance you’re using. There’s a fine line between soup and beverage when you’re processing/blending your mixture.
As with any other recipe, start with the freshest seasonal ingredients possible. If fresh isn’t an option, use frozen. Canned will also work in a pinch and if this is your choice, keep the cans in the refrigerator. To keep the soup chilled longer, chill the bowls and or place the bowls on a bed of ice placed in a larger bowl. Think of how pretty this presentation would be.
Garnish with more of the same fruit or one that will complement the dominating flavor. Think strawberries and kiwi, cantaloupe with watermelon, etc. For an extra special touch consider a garnish of edible flowers, and be sure and do some research about which flowers are safe to eat.
Some of the prettiest and tastiest cold soups are made from strawberries. Strawberry season is late May to late June and if you can get them locally grown you’re in for a real treat. Ruby red, juicy and sweet strawberries are a fun and nutritious indulgence. That being said, sometimes they can be a bit boring. This is the time to turn them into a creamy chilled soup. If your kids turn their noses up at cold soups, turn them into popsicles. Pretty sneaky huh!
1/3 cup sour cream
1 ˝ cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
Additional strawberries, mint leaves and sliced kiwi for garnish (optional)
Place all ingredients except for garnish items in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and thick. Keep refrigerated until serving time. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.