If it’s summer, refreshing nimbu or nariyal pani, lassi or raita must be on your mind—not soup! That’s because the idea of a cold soup is not popular in India. But in sunny Spain, for instance, gazpacho—a cold tomato-based vegetable soup—is a summer treat. Over the years, gazpacho now has evolved many variations. And okroshka, a traditional Russian cold soup made with vegetables, makes for a refreshing and nourishing meal on a hot day. There are many more, like the easy-to-make ones included here. They're also all light and healthful.
Green Pea and Mint Soup
This refreshing cold soup is a celebration of seasonal green peas and fresh mint. It is very simple to make, and it looks beautiful when served.
4 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, chopped
450 grams fresh green peas
21/2 cups vegetable broth or stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
21/2 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch white sugar (optional)
1/2 cup light whipping cream
2 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the 4 chopped green onions, and cook until softened, but not brown. Stir in the peas, vegetable stock, and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint.
Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat back to low. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. (15 minutes, if you are using frozen peas.)
2. Using a large slotted spoon, remove about 3 tablespoons of the peas, and set aside for garnish. Pour the soup into a blender along with the milk, and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Throw in a pinch of sugar if desired.
Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
3. Pour the soup into 4 serving bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon of light cream into each one, then garnish with reserved peas and sprigs of mint.
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