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Summer time Mexican Soups Recipes

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Want to add some serious pizzazz to your favorite meals this summer? Next time you barbecue steaks, fish or chicken, how about serving Gazpacho Rojo-a chilled vegetable soup that celebrates Mexico's Spanish heritage? Or perhaps you'll be more inspired by its lighter, white cousin-Gazpacho Blanco. You'll win rave reviews with both of these. Or you could opt to serve refreshing, tropical Cantaloupe Soup Cancun or the richly sophisticated Avocado Soup.



For some new, innovative salads, try out my Jicama Pico de Gallo, Molded Gazpacho Salad or Summer Nopales Salad. Any of these will surely liven up your family's all-time favorite meals and lend them a new, subtly Mexican flair. All recipes are easy to prepare and guaranteed to tickle even the most discriminating taste buds!



AVOCADO SOUP



This rich and delicious soup combines the traditional with the unexpected. It is an easy-to-make chilled soup that looks (and tastes) wonderful served in glass bowls on a hot summer night. Originally inspired by my cousin Susan's cruise down the Mexican Riviera, I've tinkered with it over the years and recreated it into something a little less exotic and a little more down-to-earth. This soup can be dinner party fare, beach picnic fare or just good eating in the backyard! Serves six to eight and only takes about 25 minutes to make.



4 avocados, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken bouillon
pepper to taste
4 cups whipping cream
4 tbsp cognac
4 tbsp sherry



Puree avocado in food processor with chicken bouillon. Season with pepper. Gradually stir in whipping cream. Chill. Add cognac and sherry immediately prior to serving.



GAZPACHO ROJO



Gazpacho Rojo has been one of my all-time favorite summer soups since I first tried it in Madrid, Spain in 1967. It honors Mexico's Spanish roots in a sophisticated, delightful way. Served chilled, it's a delicious, healthy accompaniment to a summer luncheon or outdoor barbecue. And it tastes way, way better than you'd expect! Try it. You too will be hooked! This recipe serves six and takes about an hour to prepare.



1 large onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, quartered
8 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup green onions with stems
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup inexpensive white wine



Toppings:
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 cup croutons
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup chives



Puree first eight ingredients in blender. Remove from blender and put in very large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in the blender. Combine with first ingredients in bowl and stir well.



Empty into quart jars and refrigerate at least two hours. This can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. The flavor actually improves with age!



To serve, place a cup of chilled Gazpacho in each of six bowls. In separate small serving bowls, place the diced egg, croutons, diced bell pepper, cucumber and chives. Watch your guests serve themselves, spooning a bit of each condiment onto the top of their Gazpacho. Then sit back and smile politely as they rave about your culinary expertise!



GAZPACHO BLANCO



Gazpacho Blanco is a less robust, more upscale version of the original. It's every bit as yummy as the original red gazpacho-just different. Try it with seafood or chicken dishes, or serve with any light summer meal. It is guaranteed to make you feel somewhere between down home barefootin' it in blue jeans and evening dress sophisticated-depending on which direction your mood leads you! This serves six and takes about 25 minutes to prepare.



1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste



Toppings:
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced green onions (white part only)
1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds



Puree cucumber, garlic and one cup of chicken broth in blender. Remove from blender and place in large bowl. Puree remaining broth, sour cream, yogurt, wine, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with other ingredients in bowl. Empty into quart jars and refrigerate at least two hours. This can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. The flavor actually improves with age!



To serve, place a cup of chilled Gazpacho in each of six bowls. In separate small serving bowls, place the diced tomatoes, green onions, parsley and slivered almonds. Just as you did with the original Gazpacho Rojo, watch your guests serve themselves, spooning a bit of each condiment onto the top of their soup. Then sit back (one more time) and grin up a storm as they applaud your culinary expertise!





CANTALOUPE SOUP CANCUN



Cancun is Mexico's most visited resort. Located on the Yucatan peninsula, it's one of the most-photographed spots in all of Mexico, and justly so. Its pristine white crescent sand beaches are surrounded by pristine, the breath-takingly beautiful aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea. This soup originated there. The combination of cantaloupe and potato gives it a wonderfully rich flavor and texture. Serve it outdoors this summer and you'll be able to imagine yourself dining al fresco-under a palapa-beachside in Cancun or somewhere equally as magical on the Riviera Maya. Even if you can't be there, you're still guaranteed to get a flock of compliments. Serves six and takes about 45 minutes to prepare.



1/2 cup half and half
1 cup potato, cooked, peeled and diced
3 cups cantaloupe, peeled and diced
1/4 cup sherry
salt to taste



nutmeg and lime slices for garnish Place the half and half, potato and cantaloupe in blender. Puree. Stir in sherry and season to taste with salt. Serve chilled in glass bowls, garnished with nutmeg and lime slices.



JICAMA PICO DE GALLO



Pico de Gallo (pronounced GUY-yo) is half salsa and half salad. What makes this recipe unique is the jicama (pronounced hee-kuh-MUH), a delicious and crunchy root vegetable popular all over Mexico. Served on a bed of lettuce, this side dish is great with Fajitas or most chicken and fish entrees. It's a Mexican traveler's dream because all the ingredients can be purchased fresh at any roadside frutería. Serves six to eight and takes approximately 20 minutes to prepare.



3 cups jicama, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and slivered
1 red bell pepper, seeded and slivered
10 radishes, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced



Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.



Combine jicama, peppers, radishes, onion and cucumber. Mix together oil, vinegar and oregano. Pour over vegetables and mix lightly. Add salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve on chilled plates.



MOLDED GAZPACHO SALAD



This recipe is a favorite of my mother's. It's an exotic salad with a Spanish heritage. Molded Gazpacho Salad is simple to prepare, but delectable -- and elegant enough to grace the table any ladies' luncheon in Beverly Hills or La Jolla. Or perhaps, like me, you'd rather be sitting on the terrace of a remote Baja resort like Punta Pescadero on the East Cape between La Paz and Los Cabos watching the iguanas playing and sunbathing on the rocks leading down to the beach. Either way, you will enjoy this exquisite salad. It's fat-free and serves eight.



1 envelope plain gelatin
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup red wine
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp diced green chiles
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
romaine leaves, rinsed and dried



Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup warmed tomato juice. Heat remaining juice until almost boiling. Add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Add wine, vegetables and seasoning. Pour into a one quart mold. Chill overnight. Unmold on a platter lined with romaine leaves.



SUMMER NOPALES SALAD



You can pick the nopales (tender, young prickly pear shoots) yourself in early summer if you live in the southwest. Or, if you have a Hispanic market near your home, you can buy fresh nopales already cut and cleaned in the produce section … or buy them canned. Either way, you will be able to make this festive, original and surprisingly delicious salad for yourself. I know it sounds pretty weird to you, but it's vintage Mexico-so you have to try it! Serves six and takes about an hour to prepare if you use fresh nopales. About 20 minutes if you use canned.



2 pounds of nopales (tender, young prickly pear shoots), cleaned and cooked
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 onion
2 quarts water
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 large tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese



Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.



If using freshly picked nopales, soak in water until thorns are soft, then remove with the point of a knife. Cut into strips one inch long. Place in Dutch oven and add water, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion. Heat to boiling and simmer 20 minutes. Drain and wash them, discarding all excess liquid. (Note: Only canned nopales are pre-cooked. Fresh store-bought nopales come cleaned but must be cooked.)



Put nopales in salad bowl with chopped onion, celery, cilantro and tomatoes. Toss with salad dressing and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and chill. Immediately before serving, top with Parmesan cheese.

Please visit our top Mexican food recipes section at Top Mexican recipes



 


Recipe and tips provided by Ann Hazard.



Join author Ann Hazard, as she leads you through four generations of historic Baja culinary adventure. She shares not only her family's favorite travel tales, but also the delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes she has collected and created. By the time you've cooked a meal or two and finished reading the book, you're guaranteed a lasting dose of Baja Magic. The book may even turn your perspective slightly to the South, lighten your heart and forever transform your outlook on life!


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