Seasonal Soups of Late Spring
Sipping on homemade soup can fill you up and keep you hydrated when the temperature hits triple digits.
Gazpacho is a great convenience food for gardeners. This refreshing, cold soup is loaded with ingredients that can be harvested in late spring in southern Nevada: Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, onions, herbs, and even edible flowers. Here is a recipe , but don't feel like you must follow it to the letter, in either the ingredients or the process. The idea is to gather a variety of vegetables and herbs, chop them all up, blend them together (adding liquid if needed,) and serve chilled.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
You might want to wait until a rainy afternoon in monsoon season to cozy up with this rich type of soup. The simplest version of it involves frying onions and combining them with stock, then (optionally) topping the whole thing off with cheesy toast. Other garden ingredients like celery, garlic, and fennel can be added for a more complex flavor. Find a recipe here, or a vegan variation here.
Bid a fond farewell to spring with borscht! Traditionally, bright red beets are the main ingredient of this earthy soup. You can add your garden's last remaining spring carrots and cabbage to the mix, as well. If you have onions ready to harvest, they will round out your borscht; and lemon juice should be thrown in, too, for a nice sour note. Borscht can be served warm or cold.
As we look backward to the cool season with borscht, we can look ahead to summer with cucumber soup, which reintroduces us to hot-weather ingredients we've missed all winter. This cool, creamy soup features a base of blended avocado, cucumbers, and yogurt. As with borscht, a lemony flavor is desired, so lemongrass leaves may be added after the soup is blended but before it is chilled. (The lemongrass should be removed at the last minute before eating.) Garden-fresh garlic is another good seasoning for this type of soup. Here is a recipe from Picklesnhoney.com.
Photos by Farmer Jeff, Farmer Hilary, and Farmer Sarah. Borscht photo courtesy of Muffet (Flickr.)