I'm nutty about summer foods. Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, steaks on the grill, and cold soups. Keeping the kitchen cool is only one benefit of chilled soup.
I say that summer soups don't need to be cooked (liar liar pants on fire), but many variations do. I cook -- then chill -- any soup that has a meat stock in it.
The other night I made a large, lovely batch of gazpacho for a dinner party. Twas yummy, topped with crab and ripe avocado.
BTW, this is also a killer salsa recipe. Versatile = good.
Many recipes that use fresh veggies depend on the ripeness and quality of the fruit. I had to use hothouse tomatoes, but I was able to procure organic onions. The end product needed more seasoning that farm-fresh ingredients would have needed, but it was still damn tasty.
Proportions depend on how many people are expected to dine. I think about individual soup bowls. How many tomatoes, onions etc should each person have?
I was making a first course for six. My calculations were as follows: Roughly three-half tomatoes per person, one-half onion per, and other items for flavor. I used yellow onions (not sweet), jalapeños (three total or one-half per person), garlic, and a mix of plum and hothouse tomatoes.
Roast all the ingredients but the garlic for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Add the garlic and roast for 10 minutes more.
Cool the vegetables, the remove the skin from the tomatoes and the papery onion skins. Peel, seed and de-vein the jalapeños. At this point,if you want the soup to be hotter, add more hot peppers or pepper flakes. Don't add the pepper seeds. They'll only make the soup bitter.
Rough chop a bunch of cilantro, squeeze two limes, and puree the whole mess in a food processor. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil per portion as well as salt to taste.
Add a can of diced tomatoes or some tomato juice to thin out the mixture. A lot of folks puree bread into the soup to keep the liquid from separating from the solids. I dunno, I don't mind mixing food with my spoon as I eat it.
It's summertime. Play with food. Roast fennel and mix it with cucumber. Make roasted beet and lemon verbena soup or puree tomatoes with just about anything.
Thought for the day, directed at no one in particular: If you want to be a part of my life, act as if you want to be a part of my life.