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Three summer soups to cool you down

27 July 2018


I HAVE tried Paul Wood’s Mushroom soup a dozen different ways, and it is my favourite soup at the moment. I’ve tried it as he served it: the mushrooms chopped finely and swimming in cream, and whizzed to a tweed-brown in a blender. I like it hot: I also like it relatively thick, and eaten with a spoon straight from the fridge, reduced to the consistency of a dip. Along the way, I’ve discovered that tins of coconut milk vary a good deal in their water content. Caveat emptor! What I’m aiming for is the perfect balance between the flavours of coconut, mushroom, and lemon.

1 large onion
coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
450g (1 lb) mushrooms
1 can coconut milk
1 lemon
vegetable stock

Chop the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cut them finely and evenly and fry them in a spoonful of coconut oil until they are tender. Add the coconut milk and cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes or so. Add some vegetable stock — about ½ pint — according to the consistency you like. Add the juice of the lemon, tasting as you go (you may not need all the juice). Bring to a simmer, add seasoning, blend if you wish, and serve, or cool and chill for later.

I have discovered that the addition of lemon zest makes a Gazpacho particularly good. I’ve been enjoying this as an easy, quick lunch, for one, on a hot day. A glass of passata is an excellent alternative to using fresh tomatoes.

2 large, ripe tomatoes
1 avocado
¼ cucumber
½ red pepper
1 large clove garlic
½ lemon zest

Chop all the ingredients and blend them together with a dash of iced water and a couple of ice cubes. Serve with a sprig of basil. (Of course, a little basil goes in very well, too, if you like it.)

And then, how to rein in all the bolting lettuces in this glorious heat? I used to think Lettuce soup really depended on chicken stock for flavour and richness, but sweet carrots also do the trick, adding sweetness and body to the mix, and making a summery but comforting soup which is also very good eaten chilled. With all chilled food, you may find you need a little extra seasoning, and the flavours of this soup are simple, so they complement the richness of cream or pesto as a garnish.

olive oil
1 large onion
2 small carrots
2 cloves garlic
one lettuce
vegetable stock

Chop the onion and garlic, and cook them gently in the olive oil. Add the carrots, peeled and chopped. When they are tender, cover with vegetable stock. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Add the lettuce and cook until it has just wilted. Liquidise, and check the seasoning.


Tue 16 Aug @ 10:45
Ted Harrison finds biblical destinations closer to home https://t.co/52udq5Qf4X

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