One healthy and delicious way to beat the summer heat is by whipping up a chilled vegetable soup. The obvious choice that comes to mind is gazpacho—the tomato- and veggie-loaded cold soup—but why stop there? Another ingredient that makes a good base is squash.
The recipe I found on Epicurious.com for a Chilled Squash and Leek Soup was a good start but not vegan, so I made a few changes. I actually suggest making even more! This soup has very subtle flavors that can be built upon to create a more complex dish. A few tablespoonfuls of chopped basil, a dollop of vegan sour cream, or even a hint of spice from minced peppers would make the soup even more delicious.
Chilled Summer Squash and Leek Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped leek, or about 1 medium, white and pale green parts only
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 1/4 lbs. yellow crookneck squash, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
14 oz. vegetable broth
Dash of liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
- Heat the oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and coriander and cook until almost tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until just soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, liquid smoke, and lemon zest. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill, uncovered, until cold, about 3 hours. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Makes 4 servings