Summer Soups: Gifts From the Garden
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 10, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
While many interesting and exotic soups are made with ingredients not grown by every gardener, most of us at least have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots or other common vegetables in our gardens. These healthy, tasteful varieties all need basically the same things: lots of sun and plenty of water. Most of them also welcome a dose of organic matter to help them thrive.
Once these prolific producers get going, youll be thankful for having a variety of ways to use them! Herewith are some interesting summer soups.
The revered (and feared) zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to soup. Here are two chilled soups that are sure to convince even the most skeptical diner that going green is a good thing!
Cream of Zucchini & Onion Soup
Per serving: Calories 122, Fat 5 g, Protein 7 g, Carb 14 g, Fiber 2 g, Chol 21 mg, Sodium 1010* Food Exchanges: 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat *To reduce the sodium content, make your own chicken broth or use one of the low-sodium products made by Swanson or College Inn.
| Chilled Zucchini & Cream Cheese Soup |
1-1/4 lbs zucchini, chopped (about 4 medium)
3-1/2 cups chicken broth, ready to use
1-1/2 cups chopped green onion
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/4 tsp dried dill weed
16 oz light cream cheese
1 cup light sour cream
1/4 tsp paprika
Per serving: Calories 144, Fat 11g,* Protein 7g, Carb 5g, Fiber 1g, Chol 34 mg, Sodium 552 mg.**
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable
*To reduce fat content, use fat-free cream cheese and sour cream. **To reduce the sodium content, make your own chicken broth or use one of the low-sodium products made by Swanson or College Inn.
Carrots are good for you, and they are fun and easy to grow (if you don't have to share them with the rabbits). Try this elegant and delicious warm soup on a cool late-summer evening.
Carrot and Orange Soup
Per serving: Calories 179, Fat 9g, Protein 4g, Carb 24g, Fiber 5g, Chol 22mg, Sodium 430mg
Years ago while traveling in Spain, I discovered Gazpacho and, forever after that, it became a summer favorite. Kids who didn't care for green salad would gobble this up; and my oldest daughter could never remember the name, so she'd ask when we were going to have gestapo again!
Summer Salad Soup, or Gazpacho!
For those of you who grow those prolific hot peppers, here's a terrific recipe for using some of the bounty.
Cream of Jalapeno Soup
Per serving: Calories 191, Fat 9g, Protein 12g, Carb 16, Fiber 1g, Chol 28 mg, Sodium 275mg
One of the best things about these summer vegetable soups is their flexibility. Most can be made up and kept on hand for quick lunch or dinner fixes.
All recipes are by Toni Leland.
All photos: Toni Leland, except chili pepper clipart
Nutritional analyses calculated using MasterCook; these values may vary if ingredients are substituted.