A Refreshing Look at Soups, Salads and Summer
Hot and humid weather….the sultry heat…long summer days. We're muddled in the heat of summer. Many readers are in the mountains or just on vacation to try and escape some of the city's heat. Here are some simple and very refreshing cool summer ideas to revive a visiting friend, relax with, refresh a tired spouse, or to enjoy together at Seudat Shlishit at the close of a long Shabbat day.
Summer soups are interesting. They don’t need to be cooked in order to be dubbed a 'soup'. Served in tall glasses, when the soup is chilled the glass frosts over and it looks even more delightful and refreshing.
Note: If the soup calls for wine and is not cooked, the alcohol has not boiled out, so be careful with your kids or leave out the "spike".
Now, on to our recipes…
Tamar Ansh is an author, freelance recipe developer, and food columnist. Her articles have appeared in Jewish publications worldwide. She has published 4 books so far which include: Splitting the Sea (Targum Press), inspirational stories on finding one’s soul-mate; Let's Say Amen!, an illustrated children's book about the holiness of Amen (Feldheim Publishers); her first cookbook, A Taste of Tradition (Feldheim Publishers) which is both gluten free and kosher for Passover. Her most recent book is called A Taste of Challah (Feldheim Publishers, 2007). It is a photographic guide to baking and shaping beautiful challahs, and includes many other healthy and interesting bread types as well. Visit http://www.TasteofChallah.com to see all her books online, as well as other, not yet published, challah and bread recipes. She will be coming on a short book tour and speaking in two different places in the Tri-State area the week of March 4-9th! See her website for details and locations.
Snazzy Cheese Garden Salad
Serves at least 6
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 light green zucchinis, cubed
Optional: 1 cup cauliflower florets
8 fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small white onion, diced
1 tsp. soy sauce
6 cups (or more) - combination of lettuce greens, your choice of Romaine, Iceberg, Spinach, etc.
2 firm, green cucumbers, unpeeled and scrubbed, diced
Fresh strawberry slices, if available
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
1/2 cup crushed candied pecans or candied almonds
1/2 cup crumbly salty white cheese, (like Tnuva's "Tzafatit")
1/2 of a purple onion, sliced
Seeds for garnishing
1/4 cup Tnuva grated yellow cheese
In a large skillet over a medium flame, sauté the cubed zucchinis, cauliflower florets (f using), sliced mushrooms and the white onion for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. They should be just softened but not overcooked. Remove from fire and add the soy sauce. Toss together and remove mixture from the pan to a container for later use. Leave it in the fridge to cool.
When you are ready to serve the salad:
Arrange the greens in serving bowl.
Dice or cube the unpeeled, clean cucumbers and the avocado and toss them in. Spoon the cooled and cooked vegetable mix into the greens. Toss to incorporate somewhat. Toss in the fruit and the nuts. Sprinkle the top of the salad with the crumbled Tzafatit cheese and arrange the purple onion slices nicely all over. Sprinkle on the seeds. Add the grated yellow cheese to the top of the salad, and serve. Leave the dressing separately in its own container so that any leftover salad (you won’t have much of it leftover anyways) can be stored until the next day without going bad.
Serve with a choice of dressings:
1 cup canola oil OR 1/2 cup each canola and extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 Tablespoon granulated onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
Blend together and serve.
Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper
Small bunch of fresh dill, chopped very fine OR 1 Tablespoon dried dill
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
Mix well and serve. Keeps well in the fridge and can be prepared in advance.
Banana Nut Fruit Soup
2 bananas, blended with 1 T. lemon juice
1 can (15 oz.) of crushed pineapples, juices drained and reserved
1 cup finely ground almonds
1 cup coconut
10 dates, pitted
4 cups or more of fruit juice
Prepare this "soup" in batches so it doesn’t overheat your food processor.
• Puree the bananas together with half of the juice.
• Then pulse this together with the nuts, and remove it all to a mixing bowl.
• Pulse the coconut and the pineapples together. Add to the bowl.
• Add in all remaining juices and mix together.
• Serve in tall glasses.
If you really want to get interesting, you can "spike" this "soup" with 1 cup of semi-dry white wine.
This works best with ripened kiwis – taste them first to ensure they are not too tart. A different kind of look and no food coloring at all!
8 ripe kiwis, peeled and washed
3/4 cup seltzer
1 2/3 cup sugar syrup (see recipe below)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour this out into a container and freeze flat. After about 4-6 hours, when it is still partially frozen, but it into the blender or mixer, using your flat beater, and re-beat it. Refreeze until use. Defrost it for 15 minutes so it softens somewhat before you serve it.
Recipe for the sugar syrup:
4 cups sugar to 4 cups water
Boil this together, and mix constantly while doing so. After it has come to a boil, continue to simmer it for 10 minutes on a low flame. Cool and use as needed.
Mango & Strawberry Soup Blend
4 medium sized, overripe soft mangos, peeled and pitted
3 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3 T. apple juice concentrate
4 T. seltzer
Blend mango ingredients in a food processor until smooth and thick. Pour into waiting glasses and refrigerate while preparing the strawberry mixture.
1 package frozen strawberries (16 oz.)
2 cups pineapple tidbits, drained, juice reserved
1 cup real orange juice
1/2 cup seltzer water
A bunch of small ice cubes
Place the strawberries and pineapple tidbits into the food processor. Add the pineapple juice and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the liquids. Mix together to form your "soup".
Directly before serving, remove the glasses with the mango mixture from the refrigerator. Pour strawberry soup on top of the mango, to fill the glass until 1 inch below the top. Place one ice cube inside each glass and a straw. If desired, garnish with a round slice of fresh orange hung on the edge of each glass.
This “soup” is great to begin, or end, a meal.