The freshness of vegetables captured in cold soups

Those who have gardens or access to a variety of summer vegetables can take advantage of the freshness by making cool and creamy vegetable soups. These can be transported in a thermos jar to the office, or to picnics, to eat with bread, cheese, cold chicken and a beverage. Presented in crystal or glass stemware, or pottery bowls or cups, they are a fine appetizer to serve before guests come to the table.

Made ahead either the night before or on the morning of the day to be served they all combine well with simple main courses, grilled chicken or fish, medallions of veal, broiled steak.

The following recipe for Minty Cucumber Soup goes well with lamb dishes. Minty Cucumber Soup 3 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 small garlic clove, minced 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced 3 tablespoons flour 2 cups chicken stock 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint 1 cup half-and-half 1 cup plain yogurt Salt White pepper Sliced cucumber for garnish

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until limp but not brown. Add sliced cucumber and cook slowly until soft. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, then stock, blending well. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Transfer to processor or blender in batches and puree. Pour into bowl and blend in mint. Cover and chill thoroughly. Just before serving, stir in half-and-half and yogurt and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with sliced cucumber. Serves 4 to 6. Summer Sunshine Soup 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup chopped onion 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned 2 cups cooked, sliced carrots, drained 2 tablespoons flour 16-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted, thawed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup cream or evaporated milk 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives Orange slices for garnish

In small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Add onion and saute until tender. Into blender container, place onions, 2 cups chicken broth and carrots. Puree until smooth.

In large saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Add flour and cook until smooth and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth and cook until slightly thickened.

Add orange juice concentrate, salt, pepper, cream or evaporated milk, chives and carrot mixture. Stir until blended. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until well chilled. To serve, garnish with orange slices, if desired. Makes 6 to 7 1-cup servings. Cool and Creamy Turnip Soup 6 to 8 medium size white turnips 4 tablespoons butter or margarine 3 1/2 cups chicken broth 2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes 3 cups cream Salt and pepper to taste Dash of Tabasco sauce 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Peel turnips and cut into 1-inch cubes. Melt butter in saucepan and add turnips. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Do not brown. Add the chicken broth and potatoes, and simmer until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

Put the mixture through a sieve or food processor and let cool. Chill well. When ready to serve, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a touch of Tabasco and the Worcestershire sauce. Serve cold. Serves 6 to 8 . Galloping Gazpacho 1 medium-size cucumber 1 green pepper 1 clove garlic 4 green onions 1 can condensed tomato soup 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 cup ice water

Chop cucumber, pepper, garlic and onions. In medium-sized bowl, combine vegetables with 1 can condensed tomato soup, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce , vinegar, and ice water. Chill until icy cold. Serve with crisp warm Italian bread, or as first course or appetizer. Serves 6. Chilled Curried Cream of Pea Soup 1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas 1 medium onion, sliced 1 carrot, sliced 1 celery stalk with leaves, sliced 1 medium potato, peeled and sliced 1 garlic clove 1 teaspoon curry powder or to taste Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup half-and-half

Combine vegetables and seasonings with 1 cup stock in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree in batches in processor or blender.Pour into bowl and whisk in remaining stock and half-and-half. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 6. Hungarian Style Squash Soup 3 cups yellow squash, peeled and sliced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 onion, minced 2 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup freshly chopped dill, or 1 tablespoon dried

Put squash, salt, and vinegar in a kettle with enough water to cover. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until tender.Meanwhile, in a skillet melt butter and saute onion until translucent.

Puree contents of kettle together with eggs, onion, sour cream and dill. If soup appears too thick, dilute with a little chicken broth. Serves 4.

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