Cold Soup Love

“Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is the rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had he only come a little earlier he could have gotten it while it was still hot.”
Fran Lebowitz, journalist

I love cold soup in the summer, but it was a gradual courtship. When I was a child, my Mom would try to fancy up the dinner menu when guests arrived with a little vichyssoise…gourmet name for cold potato soup. Oh Lordy, I thought she forgot to heat it up, so gross!

We had a lot of guests for dinner at our home in those days, mostly the local priests from our church…as I recall, always on Sunday after church. Some of the guys were great, some not so much…My favorite priest was a fellow who was always joking with the younger ones.

You see in our family there was a bit of a division….the three older ones vs. the three younger ones. We sat across the table from each other at dinner and sometimes war would ensue….flinging of mashed potatoes and peas being a favorite sport-it’s a bit tricky, but with the back of the spoon you can send a wad and not be detected….my poor parents!

One Sunday, we had my favorite priest over for dinner and he gave us a really good tip for the next time we had company: He told us that when my parents served the dinner, we should say stuff like “Wow real butter tonight, Mom” or “We’re having real meat” or “Thanks for feeding us today”…stuff like that…think there was a little devil in that holy man! I tried this mischief one time soon after, but no one thought it was funny, darn.

Now, I am in love with cold soups in the summer. I serve them a lot for luncheons and parties….file under Make Ahead (words of wisdom) best advice for entertaining ever…Make Ahead!

So here is my offering to you in honor of Fr. Greg…

“Thanks for the Real Food” Gazpacho

Summer Gazpacho

Recipe By: adapted from Dorothy Lane Market
Yield: 8 cups
Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup firm white bread, torn bits
2 pounds tomatoes, quartered and cored
1 green pepper, cut up
8 green onions, cut up
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut up
jalapeno, optional
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
black pepper, to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce, to taste
2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine
Garnishes:
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
garlic croutons
creme fraiche, or sour cream
green onions

Directions:

1. Saute’ the garlic in oil until soft and fragrant (1-2 minutes). Set aside.

2. Put the bread in a food processor and pour in the garlic oil and the tomatoes, puree. Add the bell pepper,
green onions, cucumber, vinegar, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, pepper, Tabasco and sugar, puree.

3. Strain if you wish. Stir in the chicken broth, tomato juice and the white wine. Adjust seasoning adding more Tabasco if desired.

4. Cover and chill for several hours or up to 2 days.

5. To serve, place the soup in large shallow bowls and pass the garnishes separately.

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949) (Yikes the year I was born!)

Prepping for my soup, obviously I am not a photographer

Prepping for my soup, obviously I am not a photographer

Finished Fabulousness

Finished Fabulousness

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