I’ve been making a big pot of soup at least once a week. I know, we often think of soup as cold-weather comfort food, but soup is also convenient to have around during busy times, no matter what the season. And, soup doesn’t have to be hot, either. I present here a list of 6 soups, hot and chilled, that are great at the end of the summer. They feature late summer ingredients, and, if made ahead of time, all can be satisfying centers of quick meals during busy times. I know, because I’ve taken advantage of some of them myself lately.
Just because it’s September and everyone is posting selfies with their paper cup of PSL, doesn’t mean it’s getting cold outside. If you need your soup to cool you off, make Gazpacho with the end-of-the-season tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. This version is light, refreshing, and a little bit spicy.
If you’re overwhelmed with summer squash, you can enjoy some in a bowl of Chilled Summer Squash Soup. This recipe features the yellow variety of squash, but I think green zucchini would be a reasonable substitute. The squash is cooked with carrot and onion in vegetable broth. The resulting mixture is pureed, chilled and enriched with yogurt.
If you don’t mind a little warmth, these last 4 soups are for you. Creamy Cabbage and Potato Soup is rich and hearty enough to be a meal unto itself, with a thick slice of rye bread on the side. You should see plenty of fresh, sweet cabbages in the markets to feature here.
Chard Soup with Cilantro and Lime is a great way to use an abundance of leafy chard. I think you could substitute some spinach or maybe even kale for some of the chard if you like. Just be sure to include the perky combo of cilantro and lime to give yourself the flavor burst you deserve.
I’ve found September to be the month of bell peppers in my part of the world. Roast a few red or yellow or orange ones to feature in this Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup. If you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes on hand, you can use them in place of the fire-roasted canned tomatoes in the recipe. Smoked paprika and lots of garlic give this soup a Spanish twist, but you can season up your tomatoes and peppers however you like.
If you planted herbs this year, and are now wondering what to do with them, you can make this White Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs. Just bundle up your well-washed herb branches (I particularly like sage, thyme, and rosemary) and tie them with some kitchen twine. Cook them with your beans and vegetables, then fish them out when the soup is done. Chop up tender herbs like basil and parsley to stir in at the end of cooking. Enjoy this soup with some Rosemary Focaccia.
Finally, this Black Bean Soup with Salsa is a great bridge from late summer into fall. It’s enough like chili to get your tailgating season into full swing. It’s really simple to make if you just pour in a jar of your favorite salsa, but you can saute fresh peppers along with the onions and stir in some fresh tomatoes, effectively deconstructing the salsa, and making fantastic soup. This hearty soup is great with cornbread (perhaps this Zucchini Skillet Cornbread, if you’re overrun with zucchini) or Cheddar Jalapeno Scones.
Soup doesn’t have to be for sick days or frozen days. A little planning is all you need for it to be the remedy for the dinner problem on busy days. And some late season garden abundance can make soup a simple and satisfying celebration of September.
Coming soon: Cheddar Bacon White Bean Salad!
One year ago: Rosemary Raisin Tea Cake with Lemon