I enjoyed a cool berry soup at a restaurant several years ago. The manager gave me some of the ingredients and none of the amounts, so I tinkered with what I had to get this refreshing rendition.
—Phyllis Hammes of Rochester, Minnesota
Horseradish, spices and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar give this gazpacho its Cajun flair. Served chilled, it’s one of the best starters you can have in the heat of the summer.—Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana
Betty Nickels of Tampa, Florida combines crunchy fresh veggies with black beans and a splash of hot pepper sauce to create this spicy chilled soup. "I often server this during the warm summer months, when tomatoes are in season," Betty writes. "It tastes best when you let it mellow overnight in the refrigerator."
Entertaining is a big part of a military wife's life—my husband was a career Army man—so my soup got much use! It's a great cool-down after Mexican food, but I've also served it with butter cookies at a baby shower.
We're now retired here in the Utah Rockies. Both of our sons are grown.
Gazpacho is common fare here in the Southwest, and its variations are numerous. This one is simple, inexpensive, healthful and delicious. It works well as an appetizer, brunch dish or accompaniment to any meat entree. I prefer to make the tomato base the night before, but I've also made it early in the morning for serving with that night's supper.
Hot days call for cool foods, like this refreshing soup. Both filling and flavorful, it uses the best of summer’s bounty. Seasonings can be adjusted to your tastes.—Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
Unlike many chilled soups, this one isn't pureed, so you'll find plenty of chunky vegetable bits in each spoonful. "The recipe is from a friend who serves this refreshing soup on hot summer days," notes Liz Fick of Litchville, North Dakota.
"If you want to make a soup that your children will love, try this cool and refreshing summer blend," recommends Edie DeSpain of Logan, Utah. The impressive star design is simple to create with sweetened sour cream.