Rebecca is a retired special education teacher. She earned a master's degree at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA.
Cold Summer Soup
I miss a few things about winter when the weather is hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July. A crackling fire, a rare Southern snowfall, and a bowl of hot vegetable soup are at the top of the list.
I can’t do anything about the snowfall. A crackling fire in the fireplace would be downright uncomfortable. No doubt, the neighbors would call the fire department, then the fire department would probably call a mental hospital. But I can do something about the vegetable soup. I'm sharing a really simple cold soup my mom used to make with fresh tomatoes and other summer veggies from the garden using V8 vegetable juice as the base.
Soups are mainstays during the winter. They are inexpensive, healthy, and comforting. And when you add a grilled cheese or egg salad sandwich and a cold glass of milk, you have a perfectly balanced meal for the family. Don’t let summer stand in the way of enjoying the convenience and nutrition in a bowl of soup.
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Three Reasons for Chilled Summer Soup
There are three great reasons to make chilled summer vegetable soup.
- Nutrition: This soup is brimming with nutrients including lycopene, the antioxidant with red pigment that gives foods like tomatoes, watermelons, and red peppers their bright color. Studies at Harvard Medical School among others indicate that a high intake of lycopene helps prevent skin damage from ultraviolet rays and skin cancer. That is important in the summer!
- Energy conservation: A summer supper of cold veggie soup and grilled cheese or deviled egg sandwiches will not require a lot of oven use. The kitchen will stay cooler. The cheese or eggs and a cold glass of milk will add protein for a healthy and tasty meal.
- Seasonal produce: Lastly, this cold summer soup recipe calls for early summer veggies like yellow squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. Fresh veggies taste better and locally grown or in-season produce usually costs less.
Vegetables and Nutrition
- Yellow squash and zucchini both have some protein. They also contain vitamins A and C, antioxidants that fight free radicals
- Tomatoes have antioxidants that fight several cancers. Lycopene protects skin from ultraviolet rays; zeaxanthin benefits eye health.
- Yellow squash contains carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin to benefit eye health; It's also high in pectin, a specially structured polysaccharide thought to protect against diabetes
- Cucumbers are surprisingly high in vitamin C and are a good source of potassium.
- And all of the veggies in chilled summer soup are high in healthy fiber.
- 1 (48-oz.) can V8 juice, spicy or regular
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1 pound yellow squash, unpeeled, diced
- 1 pound zucchini, peeled and diced
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Wash and scrub the veggies and herbs. Place in a colander to drain
- Slice and dice the squash, peel and dice the zucchini and cucumbers. Dice the tomatoes
- Pour the V8 juice into a large bowl
- Pour 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a measuring cup. Stir in the chopped parsley
- Stir the olive oil and lemon juice mixture into the bowl. Add a cup of water. Mix well.
- Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge to “cook” for at least 2 hours. The flavors will meld together.