Sometimes nothing beats summer's heat better than a bowl of chilled soup. Gazpacho is classic, but why not try building soups around other refreshing ingredients, like grapes, cucumber and melon? Check out these ideas from our Test Kitchen:
Mild yet refreshing, chilled cucumber soup comes together in about 20 minutes, combining cucumbers with tangy yogurt, a little garlic and bright vinegar. Make it first thing in the morning, then chill until ready to serve for dinner. Garnish with slivered radish and julienned basil right before serving.
Grapes help form the base of The Sweet Life Cafe's white gazpacho: Puréed cucumbers and grapes form the base of this wonderfully fresh, bright soup, with yogurt and sour cream adding tangy richness, fresh lemon, a nice touch of garlic, sherry vinegar and a dash of hot sauce rounding out the harmony. Quick to make, the chilled soup makes a great snack or light meal.
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CHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP
Total time: About 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Servings: 4 to 6
Note: From former Test Kitchen director Donna Deane.
2 European cucumbers (about 1 pound each), cut into 2-inch chunks
2 cups plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons slivered radish (1 to 2 radishes), reserved in ice water
Maldon sea salt
4 small basil leaves, cut into julienne strips
1. In a blender, puree the cucumber and yogurt together in batches until smooth. Pour each batch into a large bowl.