Summer salad is really soup-er

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 12:00 a.m.
By ALICIA ROSS with BEVERLY MILLS Special to The Sun I crave cold soups in the summer. Nothing is more refreshing than a bowl of crisp, cool vegetables in a robust soup base. However, cold soup is not an easy sell to my family. It can be downright hard, in fact.
One thing that helped was when I started talking about Salad Soup for my traditional gazpacho.
But, like a lot of men, my husband is not keen on calling a big bowl of salad (soup or not) dinner. Forget the fact that the soup is filling enough and has the flavor of four dinners packed into every bowl.
"So, what's the problem?" I asked. "I just don't like soup cold," he said. "It's like it's not finished."
So the temperature was the deal? No problem. I zapped his bowl in the microwave until it was pleasantly warm and said, "Enjoy your vegetable soup, dear."
Surprisingly, he did. The slight temperature change was just enough to sell him on the fact that Summer Salad Soup was, indeed, dinner. And a delicious one at that!
Summer Salad Soup small, sweet onion, such as Vidalia 1 large, yellow bell pepper 2 cloves garlic 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable juice, such as V-8, refrigerated if possible
1 pound very ripe tomatoes English cucumbers or 2 small Kirby cucumbers (about 8 ounces)
cup red-wine vinegar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon honey teaspoon Tabasco sauce 2 tablespoons dry, plain bread crumbs salt and black pepper to taste Peel the onion half, and rinse and seed the bell pepper. Cut the bell pepper in half. Place half of the bell pepper and the onion half in a blender or food processor. Peel the garlic cloves, and add them to the processor. Add 1 cup of the vegetable juice. Process on high until vegetables are practically liquid. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl, and set aside.
Cut the remaining bell pepper half into bite-size chunks, and add them to the bowl. Core the tomatoes, and cut them into bite-size chunks, adding them to the bowl as you cut. Cut the unpeeled cucumber into bite-size pieces, and add the pieces to the bowl.
Add the vinegar, oil, Worcestershire, honey, Tabasco and remaining 2 cups of vegetable juice. Stir to mix well. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the bowl, and stir to mix well. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve at once, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.
Approximate values per serving: 171 calories (39 percent from fat), 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 420 mg sodium.
KATS BARRY/Desperation Dinners Soup can be a hard sell for the family. But not so with Summer Salad Soup, which, indeed, is a delicioius dinner.

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