By Marj Watkins and Suzanna Leigh
This summer is promising to be plenty hot! How can we stay out of the kitchen and away from the hot stove and still serve nourishing, satisfying meals? Cold soups are refreshing, nourishing, and surprisingly nutritious. Here are some ideas.
Marj’s Cold Potato Soup
Make this ahead in the morning when it is still cool, giving the soup a chance to chill by dinnertime.
4 cups peeled, cubed white potatoes
½ cup water or broth
½ cup half-and-half and ½ cup almond milk or ⅓ cup cream and ⅔ cup milk
1 vegetable bullion cube
Salt to taste
Dash or 2 of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch green onion tops (6-10), white part only, chopped
Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush. Cut into small cubes. Rinse them well in water. Simmer them in clean water or broth, for about 10 minutes; retain the cooking water.
Combine any remaining cooking water, the chopped onion whites, the bullion cube, salt, cayenne pepper, and butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Taste. Add more seasoning if desired.
Add the dairy to the soup, and combine.
Serve the soup chilled, with a sprinkling of chopped green onion tops, or serve it hot on those unexpectedly chilly days.
In a blender, put:
One can of stewed or chopped tomatoes (Italian seasoned tomatoes are good!)
Other raw vegetables to taste, such as a chopped celery stick; ½ red or green pepper; peeled, chopped cucumber; a few tablespoons of chopped onion; one clove garlic smooshed in a garlic press.
2-3 tbsp olive oil
A dash of pepper, cayenne powder, or tabasco
Blend until smooth. Serve with crackers and cheese, or a cheese and fruit plate. Serves four.
A family favorite is something we call smorbrode. A cross between an open-faced sandwich and a smorgasbord, it is basically a slice of bread with a choice of things you like to put on it. We like:
Sliced luncheon meats
Sweet, hot mustard
Olives and pickled beets on the side.
The toppings are served separately, so that each person can choose what they like. It is a quick and complete meal, with no stove involved. But at age 98, Marj doesn’t like running back and forth from the kitchen to put all the ingredients on the table, so she waits until she has help to create this meal.