Insider’s Viewpoint: Refreshing, Nutritional Chilled Soups
Chilled soups loaded with fruits and vegetables are colorful, refreshing and a perfect way to beat the heat during the hot days of summer. These soups can usually be prepared quickly, often in a blender, food processor or using an emersion blender. They are generally packed with nutrients and are relatively low in calories and fat because the main ingredients are fruits and vegetables. Many Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables and enjoying chilled soups frequently is a great way to increase your intake.
Versatility: Great for Appetizers, Main Dishes, Lunch, or Snacks
The versatility of creating and serving chilled soups is unlimited. A small portion of a light puréed vegetable-based soup like cucumber, carrot or tomato can be served as a refreshing appetizer or as the first course of a meal. These can be paired with a sandwich, wrap, stuffed pita pocket or salad to create a light meal. They also make a satisfying snack. Hearty chilled soups like a green pea with mint, avocado, or a chunky gazpacho with garbanzo or other beans can be served as a main dish.
How to Make Chilled Soups
Chilled fruit soups can be made with different fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon, mango and berries. Dried fruits can be chopped and added if a chewy texture is desired or they can be cooked, puréed and then added to the soup. Using frozen fruits speeds the chilling of soup prior to serving. Enjoy as a breakfast beverage or for a great dessert. Chilled soups are a welcome addition to a summertime brunch or buffet. These soups are best when very cold. Place the serving bowl in a large container of ice to keep the soup very cold and use a chilled ladle on a buffet. Or pour from a chilled glass pitcher and serve in chilled bowls, cups or glasses.
Please Any Palate
Soup recipes are very adaptable to suit individual taste preferences or to accommodate available ingredients. For example, the most common version of gazpacho includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, onion, garlic, tomato juice and lemon or lime juice. But many other ingredients can be used in gazpacho instead or in addition to these ingredients. Part of the fun of creating soups is varying the ingredients to include your favorites!
Mango Citrus Gazpacho Recipe
This mango citrus gazpacho is a twist to a classic gazpacho that is refreshingly light and a bit sweet with a touch of citrus. This soup is a great option paired with a sandwich for a leisurely warm weather dinner.
- 2 cups diced fresh mango (frozen can be used instead)
- 2 cups 100% unsweetened orange juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup finely diced peeled cucumber
- ¼ cup finely diced purple onion
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Put mango, orange juice and olive oil in blender and blend until smooth. Pour lime juice in medium glass mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir to mix. Add red bell pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, cilantro and mango mixture. Stir gently to mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This recipe makes four 1 cup servings and each serving contains approximately 162 calories and 4 grams fat.
Strawberry Soup Dessert
This strawberry dessert soup is delightful blend of sweet and tart with a hint of mint. Using only four ingredients, plus a mint leaf garnish, this soup can be prepared in less than five minutes!
- 1 cup 100% unsweetened orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups strawberries, (wash, remove stems, cut in half and freeze or purchase frozen sliced strawberries)
- 1 cup vanilla fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
- Fresh mint leaves to garnish
Pour orange juice and peppermint extract in blender. Cover and turn blender on low speed. Gradually increase speed to high. Add strawberries and yogurt. Cover and blend again starting at a low speed and increasing speed to high. Stop blender and stir as needed. Pour into four small bowls, garnish each with a mint leaf and serve.
This recipe makes four servings and each serving contains approximately 110 calories and a trace amount of fat.
Chilled Cucumber Soup Appetizer
Cucumber soup makes a great appetizer. This soup gets its creamy texture from the addition of Greek yogurt which is one of the best ingredients to thicken cold soups.
- 1 cup plain Greek fat free yogurt
- 2½ cups peeled and diced cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, washed & dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh dill sprigs for garnish, if desired
Combine all ingredients except dill sprigs in a blender and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate several hours until ready to serve. Pour into small chilled cups and garnish each with a dill sprig if desired.
This recipe makes six ½ cup appetizer size servings and each serving contains approximately 49 calories and 2.4 grams of fat. A larger portion could be served paired with a sandwich for a meal.
Becky Varner, MS, RD, LD
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