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Don’t you like vegetables? Are vegetables boring? So, on to the soup! But summer obliges, with cold soup! There are several options available… A small cold soup that tastes of vegetables, sometimes fruit, and a pinch of olive oil in a gazpacho spirit. Hot soups made from vegetables, especially Mediterranean ones, left to cool to be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whole grain soups with legumes such as lentils or beans and grains (quinoa, bulgur, etc.) that you are happy to take to the office. Common nominator? They fill us with health and allow us to finish vegetables (or fruits) that are no longer in optimal condition.
Raw or cooked, melon, cucumber, tomato, paprika, beet are perfect for recipes full of freshness. In terms of quantities, aim for 150-200 grams of vegetables per person. Cheese and canned legumes are added at the last moment, after the soup is blended. Remember to reserve some cubes of raw vegetables when peeling and add them to the soup at the last minute. You can add baby spinach, lamb’s lettuce or chopped rocket. If your soup calls for broth, cook it in the microwave so as not to waste time: put the water in it and cook on high power. Then take the container out and add 1 or 2 cubes (2 cubes per liter). Mix well to dilute them. Do not hesitate to present your soups in vegetable walls. It’s known for the pumpkin, but try an individual presentation with small round zucchinis like Nice courgettes, a nice big apple, half a melon or coconuts.
Instead of fresh cream or milk, think ricotta, mascarpone, cottage cheese, soy or coconut milk, fromage blanc or flavored fromage frais. To replace the croutons and add relief to the simple soup, choose dried pine nuts, grated almonds, crushed hazelnuts, unsalted roasted pistachios, Krisproll pieces or breadsticks. To add softness to the soup without weighing it down, add slices of Stilton, parmesan shavings, crumbled feta, goat cheese, quenelle fromage frais/olive oil/mint and chopped basil, mozzarella balls, grated cheddar, tofu cubes…
If a complete soup cannot be imagined without meat, add glamourous duck confit crumbs, slices of pancetta, slices of black or white pudding, fried Parma ham, pieces of pepperoni, slices of chorizo or small meatballs. It’s always good to play the sweet and savory card… Think dried fruit cubes: apples, apricots, raisins, cranberries, dates, mango, papaya, figs, but also candied ginger pieces, shredded coconut, fresh lemongrass.
Season your soups
Just because the soup is runny doesn’t mean you can’t add sauce to it. Spice up your soups like a drop of oil with a fresh herb salsa spiral that works in both cold and hot soups. Mix 2 tbsp. mint leaves, 2 tbsp. dill leaves, 2 tbsp. tarragon leaves, 2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbsp. watercress leaves and 2 tbsp. a tablespoon of basil leaves. Add 1 peeled and chopped shallot, 6 drained and rinsed anchovies, 2 tbsp. drained and rinsed capers, ½ lemon juice, 1 tbsp. mustard, 4 tbsp. tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix lightly for a lumpy texture. You won’t find a better salsa verde. Feel free to make larger quantities and store in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer in batches that you can add to your stews for flavor. The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 48 hours.
With a Vichyssoise twist
Revisit vichyssoise with coconut. You will need 3 sliced white leeks + 2 large sliced potatoes + 1 sliced onion + 300 ml chicken broth + 250 ml coconut milk + 1 drop of heavy cream + 1 tbsp. at s. olive oil + 1 tbsp. at s. butter + 1 pinch of Guérande salt + toasted coconut chips (optional). Melt butter in oil over low heat. Brown the leek and onion without browning. Add stock and salt and cook the potatoes for 20 minutes. Mix to obtain a homogeneous puree. Fill with coconut milk and heat again. Serve with whipped cream and coconut shavings. It’s going to explode! A simple and original decoration: cut the leek into matchsticks, sprinkle them with 2 tbsp. at s. of flour, toss well to coat, and fry for 30-45 seconds. Throw in the soup at the last minute.
White soup on the go
If you want to eat on the go but it’s not expensive, consider a white soup, usually Italian. Take the remaining 250 g old sandwich bread + 200 g grated parmesan + 50 g parmesan shavings + 2 l chicken stock (3 cubes). Remove the sides from the bread slices, cut the crumbs into pieces and grind them very finely in a blender. Mix the crumbs and grated cheese well. Heat 2 liters of broth in a pot until it boils. Add the bread-cheese mixture little by little while whisking over low heat. Heat for about 5 min. Season with pepper and garnish with parmesan shavings. It can be eaten hot or cold if you prefer. Under the sun, choose watermelon, tomato and cucumber gazpacho. Mix 200g of watermelon pulp, 1 half cucumber, 1 quartered seedless tomato, 1 clove of garlic and 1 white onion, peeled and thinly sliced, breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 pinch of cumin and salt. The book is cool. Sprinkle with peanuts for crunch.
Prepare a light and detox soup based on cabbage, brown rice and star anise. The taste of anise is very refreshing and goes well with cabbage. Heat 500 ml of vegetable broth with three star anise. Let it cook under the lid for 15 minutes. Add 200 g of cabbage of your choice and continue cooking for 6-7 minutes. Add 100 g of cooked brown or wild rice. Even better the next day, when the rice has absorbed more liquid and thus more flavor. Zucchini is simple but mild in summer. To liven it up, add arugula for spiciness and pomelo or pink grapefruit for bitterness. Wash 200 g of arugula. Clean and dice 1 small zucchini. Boil the vegetables in 500 ml of vegetable broth for 15 minutes. 5 minutes after the end of cooking, add grapefruit juice or an equivalent amount of juice. Blend the soup and let it cool. Reserve in the fridge. Before serving, sprinkle with citrus peel and a drop of oil. Zucchini makes perfect love with a mix of black olives and sherry vinegar, or beautiful summer mussels sauteed in garlic butter, a white wine base and chopped fennel. Add volume to your bowls by making a savory whipped cream. Whip cold whole cream into a whipping cream and add some salt and fine powdered spices—turmeric, sumac or oregano, or even matcha-type tea—to give the green soup a sexy monochrome. Prepare cold soup by mixing 500 ml of tomato juice with 300 ml of carrot juice, 100 ml of cranberry juice, 1 tbsp. at s. English sauce, 1 Tabasco and a drop of honey. Serve with beautiful bread and some noble sausages.
Ajo blanco, emblematic of Andalusian cuisine, is a very elegant cold almond soup. You will need 250 g of grated almonds + 4 chopped garlic cloves + 30 ml of olive oil + 1 liter of chicken broth + 2 cups of cubed bread. For the filling, add 1 cl of cubed breadcrumbs + 30 ml of olive oil + 12 seedless white grapes, halved. Brown the almonds in a pot before adding the garlic and oil. Add broth and bread. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir the soup before straining. Refrigerate to serve. 10 minutes before serving, prepare the filling. Brown the bread cubes in oil in a pan. Add salt and pepper. Divide the cold soup into bowls. Garnish with green grapes and sliced bread. Drizzle with oil and serve immediately.
Delicate cauliflower-lavender soup
For 4 people – Preparation: 20 min – Cooking: 15 min
1 large cauliflower cut into pieces I 1 chopped onion I 2 crushed garlic cloves I 1 tbsp. at s. chopped fresh ginger 750 ml chicken broth I 250 ml whole cream I 4 sprigs of lavender I 3 tbsp. at s. peanut oil I salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat some oil and fry the onion, ginger and garlic.
- Add the cauliflower, cream and stock.
- Simmer until the cabbage is soft, about 10-12 min. Season and stir.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Before serving, sprinkle with lavender flowers.