Mash up a ripe avocado and combine it with the season’s bounty any which way you please. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

This is the time of year when I’m looking for healthy, light food made with seasonal ingredients. If I don’t have to spend too much time over a hot stove, that’s a bonus.

This chilled, Spanish-influenced tomato soup checks all the boxes. Salmorejo has been described as gazpacho’s creamier and more richly flavored cousin. It’s a cold, refreshing soup that can be enjoyed for lunch, a first course or a light dinner with or without the ham and egg garnish. And it’s flexible enough to experiment with if you want to add onion, different peppers or whatever you think would taste good.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

This is a great addition for your summer get-togethers because not only can it be made ahead, it can also be served in cocktail glasses or even paper cups, making for a lovely appetizer while the grill-meister is hard at work.

Avocados can be purchased year-round and this is the time of year I love to sit on the deck early in the morning enjoying my coffee and avocado toast. My favorite way to fix avocado is to mash it with fresh lemon juice, sea salt and chopped red onion, then spread it on toasted sprouted grain bread.

You can take that mashed avocado a step further by making a Green Goddess sandwich with or without sliced deli turkey and cheese. If you’re not using bread, sizable romaine lettuce leaves work fine. This makes a wonderful pairing with the cold soups described here.

Blueberry soup does double duty as a first course or as a dessert. A bowl of this cooling deliciousness is perfect when you long for blueberries in all their glory, but it’s too hot to crank up the oven for that pie or berry crisp. Don’t omit that cinnamon stick! If you need a bit of crunch with this, serve it with store-bought shortbread cookies and you’ll be all set. Stay cool!


2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste (from a tube)
6 medium ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds), cored and chopped
4 slices sourdough bread (about 6 ounces), torn into pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 pound thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto, torn into pieces
1 small serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 cup homemade crunchy croutons

Whisk together vinegar and tomato paste in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in tomatoes, bread, garlic, salt and pepper. Chill mixture, covered, until bread is soggy, about 15 minutes.

Ladle half of the tomato-bread mixture into a blender and add 3/4 cup water. Process until mostly smooth, about 1 minute. Add remaining tomato-bread mixture and process, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed, until smooth, about 2 minutes. With motor running, drizzle in oil until combined, about 1 minute. Chill soup, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to one day.

To serve, ladle chilled soup into bowls and top with meat and chili. Using a box grater, grate eggs over soup. Add a few croutons, a swirl of olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Yield: 4 servings

Green Goddess

2 large Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried, or two slices whole grain bread
3 slices deli turkey
1-2 slices deli cheese of your choice
1-2 tablespoons pesto
1 slice American cheese
Avocado, mashed and seasoned to your liking
3 tomato slices
1 small cucumber, sliced
2 red onion rings
2 tablespoons grated carrot
2 tablespoons sprouts or pea shoots
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the romaine or bread on a serving plate and paint each romaine leaf or toast slice with pesto. Layer remaining ingredients onto one slice or leaf and season. Top with remaining leaf. Cut in half. Have a napkin handy or eat with a knife and fork. Yield: 1 serving

Scandinavian Blueberry Soup

2 (1-pound) bags unsweetened, frozen blueberries
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 (1/4-inch thick) lemon slices
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch salt
Lemon wedges
Vanilla yogurt

Bring first seven ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard lemon slices and cinnamon stick.

Cool, then puree soup in blender or food processor in batches. Transfer all of the soup into a large container and refrigerate until very cold. (Can be prepared two days ahead.)

Divide soup between serving bowls or large goblets. Serve with lemon wedges and dollop of vanilla yogurt. Yield: 4-6 servings

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