Cold vegetable and fruit soups are refreshing on warm days and make a terrific accompaniment or first course at lunch. Vichyssoise (pronounced vee-shee-swahz), a creamy soup containing potatoes and leeks, is the most well-known of cold soups, but over the decades – since vichyssoise made its appearance nearly 100 years ago – in 1915 – other cold soups, made with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, have also become popular as good ways to stay cool when warmer weather arrives. Cold soups are concentrated and rich and, if cream is added, a luxury that should be consumed in small portions. You will note that today’s recipe for Cucumber-Potato Soup, calls for using the entire cucumber. The whole cucumber, you’re thinking? Yes, the whole thing and don’t be skeptical – it works – with the cooked skin and seeds blending smoothly into a creamy kind of cucumber vichyssoise. The blueberry and cantaloupe soups here are equally luscious – and beautifully colorful, too. If you make both of these soups at the same time, feel free to place a dollop of either soup on to the other, lightly swirling the top with a toothpick for some really cool color effects. And, if you are counting calories, whenever heavy cream is called for in a recipe, you can either go for less of the real stuff (my preference), or try healthier alternatives such as evaporated milk made with skim milk, or low-fat buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt. Warmer weather has arrived and it will just get warmer from here, so get your soup on – and stay cool.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.