Two summer no-cook recipes

Cold avocado tomato soup
Makes 4 servings

This thick and flavorful soup benefits from a generous portion of lime juice and coconut water. Chill for several hours before serving, as the vegetables are at their best when cold.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados, sliced in half, pits removed
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup coconut water (not coconut cream)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 12 small cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons parsley, chopped (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Scoop the flesh from the 2 avocados and place in a blender with the milk, salt, and cayenne. Puree until mixture is smooth and homogenous.

  2. Add the flesh of the third avocado, the lime juice, and the coconut water and puree again.

  3. Pour the soup into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the surface with the lemon juice to prevent browning, or press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface.

  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and serve cold.

  5. For added refreshment, place 4 soup bowls in the freezer about ½ hour before serving. Then mix in the tomatoes, sprinkle with parsley as garnish, and serve in the chilled bowls.
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Cold Cucumber Soup
Makes 4-6 servings

On hot, humid days, you want something to cool you down quickly. This soup refreshes and cools the palate, especially if you're eating spicy-hot food. The cucumbers are not peeled, which gives this soup its pleasant green color. Make it a day ahead so it has plenty of time to get icy cold in the fridge.

Ingredients:
  • 2 unpeeled hothouse cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ red radish, cut into very thin rounds, then into slivers
  • 4 basil tips, sliced into strips
Preparation:
  1. Place the cucumber and yogurt in a blender and puree until mixture is smooth and homogenous. You may need to do this in several batches.

  2. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl. Add the garlic, vinegar, salt, and black pepper, then cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

  3. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a pinch of radish slivers and a pinch of basil strips.
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>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days

About Jeff Cox:

Jeff Cox is the author of 17 books about organic foods, wine, and gardening, including The Organic Cook's Bible and The Organic Food Shopper's Guide.

As an editor at Organic Gardening magazine, he helped guide the organic movement to mainstream acceptance. He has also been the host of two TV shows -- "Your Organic Garden" and "Grow It!" He is a restaurant reviewer for the "Santa Rosa Press Democrat."

Jeff also writes for Decanter magazine and its website, is a contributing editor to Horticulture magazine and writes a blog on his website, www.organicfoodguy.com.

He lives in Sonoma County.

Follow Jeff on Twitter.

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