The Cooking Cardiologist Dr. Richard Collins has more.
I love spring especially for the fresh start of the produce season. Chilled soups are just perfect for the spring and summer ahead. Serve these individually or as a tasting trio of soups to begin a perfect spring evening dinner. Also this is a great way to achieve at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Spring Asparagus Soup
Growing up in the Midwest, Asparagus officinalis was a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial. However, asparagus is available pretty much year round. This soup can be served warm or chilled, depending upon the seasonal temperature, early or late spring into summer. Look for green fresh, crunchy small stalks as they have more flavors and are less woody.
1 T vegetable oil
1 small onion diced
2 t garlic
1 T flour (gluten free made be substituted)
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 pounds asparagus, rinsed, woody stem removed, 1-inch chopped, reserve 10 stalk tips for garnish
Zest of 1 lemon
½ t kosher salt
½ -1 cup So Delicious® cream
Fresh chives and light sour cream for garnish
In a soup pot, add the oil, onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the flour. Create a paste and then whisk in the stock. Add the asparagus, lemon and salt (optional).
Simmer until the asparagus is fork tender. Remove from heat. Cool. Working in small batches, puree the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add the So Delicious®. Adjust amount of “cream” to consistency of choice.
Refrigerate if serving chilled or reheat if serving warm.
Parboil the asparagus tips for 1 minute and plunge into an ice bath to maintain color. Garnish with chives, a dollop of sour cream and two asparagus tips.
Serves 4-6. Serving size: ¾ to 1 cup.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 117, Total Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 400 mg, Carbohydrate: 16 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 4 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 3 Vegetables, ½ Fat
Chilled Orange Strawberry Rhubarb Soup
Here is a perfect spring chilled soup with the benefit of vitamin C from the oranges and strawberries plus vitamin A from the rhubarb. Rhubarb is actually classified as a vegetable, but the majority of us consider it a fruit. It is quite acidic so the soup needs a sweetener. Sugar, honey, agave nectar or stevia can be used. Just add the sweetener at the last step and adjust sweetness to taste. The soup is best made fresh the day that it will be served.
1 pound rhubarb, washed and sliced into 1” pieces, approximately 4 large stalks
1-pint fresh strawberries, approximately 12 ounces, stemmed and sliced
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, approximately 4 oranges. Add extra water to bring to 2 cups
1 stick of cinnamon
2 T agave nectar or 1 T Stevia
A dollop of vanilla yogurt for garnish
In a medium saucepan, add the rhubarb, strawberries, orange juice and cinnamon stick. Simmer for 15 minutes until the rhubarb is fork tender. Remove the cinnamon stick and cool. In a high-speed blender, puree the soup. Add the sweetener and adjust the sweetness. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve.
Serves 6. Serving size: ¾ cups.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 94, Total Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrate: 22 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 2 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 ½ Fruit
Originating from the Andalusia region of Spain, traditional gazpacho is made from tomatoes and fresh garden vegetables of peppers, onions, cucumber, garlic and vinegar. The Americanized version changes the flavor to southwest with the addition of cilantro and lime. This recipe is a twist on the original using fresh mangos and a prepared mango puree found in the juice section of most grocery stores or natural food stores. This chilled soup is loaded with vitamin C and colorful anti-oxidants. Serve in chilled martini glasses.
1 mango, chopped
16 ounces mango puree juice, such as Naked Juice®, Mighty Mango. If using mango juice, then add another mango. See recipe.
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
¼ cup rice vinegar
Juice of one lime
1 jalapeño chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ seedless cucumber, sliced in strips for garnish
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. If mango puree juice is not available, then use mango juice without added sugar. Place the juice in a blender with a fresh peeled, seeded mango and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add ingredients. Mix well. If more heat intensity is desired, add another jalapeno. Serve chilled with garnishes.
Serves 4. Serving size, one cup.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 201, Total Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 278 mg, Carbohydrate: 51 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 3 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 2 ½ Fruits, 2 Vegetable