Recipes: Turn your garden vegetables into refreshing summer soups

Recipes: Turn your garden vegetables into refreshing summer soups

Makes 4 servings

This creamy yet cream-free carrot soup is a riff on an Alice Waters recipe. The sweetness of the root is grounded by onion shallot and spicy coriander, and powerfully accentuated with fragrant coriander, citrus lime and spicy peppers. For a colorful, aromatic bloom, we make a simple sauce-like garnish with some of the same ingredients in the soup, then drizzle individual bowls with olive oil to add a fruity richness.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

1½ pounds carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro stems, plus 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped, reserved separately

1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 2 teaspoons lime juice

1-2 Fresno or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped; distributed use

1 large shallot, finely chopped; distributed use

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Sour cream or Mexican crema, optional, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan until shimmering. Add the carrots, coriander stems, lime zest, half the chili(s), half the shallot, the coriander and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until shallot is translucent, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil, then cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining chilli, remaining shallot, coriander leaves and lime juice; season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth, then return it to the pot. Dilute with water to desired consistency and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the coriander mixture, a drizzle of extra oil, and sour cream or Mexican crema, if using.

Polish chilled beetroot soup (chlodnik).Connie Miller/from CB Creatives

Polish Chilled Beet Soup (Chlodnik)

Makes 4 servings

For our version of chlodnik, we start by cooking raw beets and later add pickled beets for a quick and easy note of sweetness and acidity. To offset the earthy beet flavor and distinctive crimson hue, we garnish the soup with a mix of grated radish and cucumber—which we salted, for a firmer texture—as well as the pickled beets, dill, and lemon juice.

Pureed with ice, the soup can be on the table in about an hour, but it can also be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to a day before serving. The taste improves when it sits.

Be sure to peel the beets before cooking them. The skin can have a bitter taste and make the soup muddy.

1¾ pounds beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced

¼ cup cider vinegar

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 bunch radishes, shredded on the large holes of a grater (1½ cups)

1 small English cucumber, halved, seeded and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (1½ cups)

¾ cup drained, sliced ​​beets, chopped, plus ¼ cup pickled beet juice

3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup fresh dill leaves, chopped

5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

2 cups of ice

Regular whole milk yogurt or sour cream, to serve

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 liters of water, the beets, vinegar, 2 tablespoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to a boil. Cook, turning the heat to a simmer, until the beets are tender, 30 to 60 minutes (timing will depend on the thickness of the slices and the age of the beets). Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, wrap the radish and cucumber in a kitchen towel and wring out the moisture. In a medium bowl, stir together the radish and cucumber mixture, pickled beets, 3 tablespoons dill, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Using a slotted spoon, add half of the cooked beets to a blender along with 1 cup of their cooking liquid, ½ cup of the pickled beet mixture and half of the ice. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining cooked beets, 1 cup of cooking liquid, ½ cup of the remaining pickled beet mixture, and remaining ice cream.

To the puree, add 1 cup of the remaining beet cooking liquid (discard the rest), the pickled beet juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine, taste and season with salt.

Ladle the soup into serving dishes. Garnish each with a spoonful of yogurt and the remaining pickled beet mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup dill, the chives, and pepper.

Zucchini and Green Chili Soup

Makes 4 servings

This easy pureed soup is rich and creamy but contains no dairy. Rather, the velvety consistency comes from zucchini cooked until completely soft and roasted pumpkin seeds simmered and then pureed with the soup ingredients. To toast the pumpkin seeds, place in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Don’t be shy about the heat when cooking the zucchini – putting the slices in smoking hot oil will brown them quickly. The aim is to tenderize the vegetables well so that they are processed into a smooth puree, as quickly as possible so that they retain their fresh taste.

Even though the soup is blended, you should chop the poblano chili so that the pieces are completely soft by the time the zucchini is tender. A conventional blender, not an immersion blender, is the best choice for pureeing this soup.

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

3 medium zucchini (about 1½ pounds), halved and thinly sliced

1 large poblano chili, stemless, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Diced ripe avocado, to serve

Crumbled tortilla chips, to serve

Lime wedges, to serve

Crumbled queso fresco or hot sauce or both, optional, to serve

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until barely smoking. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring once or twice, until it begins to brown. Add the poblano, oregano, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, all but 2 tablespoons scallions, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the poblano is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon pepper, bring to a boil, then cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is just tender, about 4 minutes. Refrigerate uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Puree in batches with a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with remaining spring onions, remaining pumpkin seeds, avocado, tortilla chips and, if using, queso fresco and/or hot sauce. Offer lime wedges on the side.

Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of full digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Visit Send comments to [email protected]