Serve refreshing cold soup after a hot summer day

Now that summer is officially here it's time for something cool and refreshing on the menu, like cold soups. There are many cold soups from which to choose, and most can be made ahead before the day gets too warm.

With flavors blending in the refrigerator, all that's needed at mealtime is to spoon the soup into a chilled tureen, garnish, and serve. Carrot and Potato Soup 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 leeks, white part only, sliced 4 cups cubed potatoes 3 cups sliced carrots 6 cups chicken broth 1 1/2 teaspoons salt Dash of freshly ground pepper 2 cups half-and-half cream or milk Shredded raw carrot

Using a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter and cook leeks 5 minutes. Stir well and do not let them brown. Add potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Use a blender, or food processor to puree the hot soup. Combine it with half-and-half or milk and stir until well mixed. Chill in refrigerator. Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with shredded carrot. Makes 8 servings. Chilled Cucumber Soup 1/4 cup shelled walnuts 1 large clove garlic, peeled 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 3 cups yogurt 1/3 cup cold water 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped Salt and pepper, to taste Chopped fresh mint for garnish

Mash walnuts, garlic, oil, and vinegar together until very smooth using a blender, food processor, or mortar and pestle.

In a large mixing bowl, blend yogurt and water with a wooden spoon, then add walnut mixture. When well blended, add chopped cucumber and seasoning. The soup should be well chilled before serving, at least 2 hours in refrigerator. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 4.

There is no cooking over a hot stove for this soup. Since the vegetables are finely chopped, you may want to make substitutions or additions to the vegetables. Chopped fine they will add to the flavor. Cold Tomato and Vegetable Soup 8 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped 2 large green peppers, seeded and chopped 1 cup finely chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 cup beef bouillon 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and freshly ground pepper Sour cream for garnish, optional

Chop 5 tomatoes into small pieces and combine in large bowl with cucumbers, peppers, and onions. Add juices as well.

Puree remaining tomatoes with garlic and olive oil and add to chopped vegetables. Add bouillon and lemon juice and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate several hours.

When serving, if soup has thickened, add a little extra bouillon. Serve in chilled soup bowls and garnish with a generous dollop of sour cream. Serves 6.

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