No Croutons Required - Vegetarian Soups and Salads for Hot Summer Months

As much of the world is experiencing extremely hot temperatures, this month I decided to challenge readers to come up with a soup or salad that is especially suited for hot summer months. We received lots of tempting submissions. Please vote for your favorite dish in the comment section or via email. Do note that neither my submission nor Jacqueline's is in the vote.

Janet of The Taste Space is up first with a Strawberry and Roasted Chickpea Salad with a Cinnamon Vinaigrette. This sophisticated salad makes ample use of local strawberries which are combined with cinnamon roasted chickpeas, fresh mint and almonds. This gorgeous salad is served over mixed greens and dressed with apple cider vinegar, fresh lime juice, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, ginger, a bit of sweetener and hazelnut oil. Such a complex blend of flavours and perfect for summer. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Brittany of Brittany Cooks is up next with this gorgeous Summer Vegetable and Summer Salad. Summer just wouldn't be right without our favorite potato salads, especially when it is all dressed up like this one. Comprised of many homegrown vegetables, here we have potatoes, corn, tomatoes and fresh basil dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, and a wee bit of sweetener. This delicious salad is then sprinkled with feta cheese and sprinkled with more fresh basil. How could I resist? (Beijing, China)

My submission this month is this rather unique Pear Soup with Homemade Raspberry Sorbet. Easy to prepare, pears, fresh clementine juice and zest, green chilies, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, honey and buttermilk are combined in a food processor and the soup is chilled for a while. Just before serving, a scoop of homemade raspberry sorbet with a hint of spice, made without an ice cream maker, adds the final touch to the soup along with sprigs of fresh mint. I certainly got rave reviews from my dinner guests. (London, Ontario, Canada)

Our next entry is from Lisa of We Don't Eat Anything with a Face. Here we have a Sunshine Vegetable Soup and Lisa tells us the title of the soup is ironic because summer in the UK has been slow to arrive. This bowl of goodness that makes me smile is comprised of carrots, sweet potato, bell pepper, butternut squash, celery, onion, garlic, vegetable stock, red lentils, ground coriander, turmeric and black pepper. The sweet taste of the veggies is balanced by the celery, onion and garlic. I would certainly enjoy this soup anytime of the year. (UK)

Dena from Oh! You Cook! serves up this elegant Vichyssoise Soup. Indeed, when the temperatures are soaring a cold soup is in order. Traditionally this soup is made with leeks, but this version includes garden grown scallions that come together with potatoes, garlic, vegetable broth, evaporated milk, seasonings and chives. An easy pureed soup to chill and serve on those especially hot days when you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. (New Jersey, US)

Madge, the Vegetarian Casserole Queen celebrates local produce with this refreshing Peach Salad. Diced peaches are dressed with honey and fresh lemon juice and then garnished with feta cheese and mint. How easy and tasty is that? A great choice for a light summer lunch. (US)

Up next is Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe with this wholesome and satisfying Orange, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad. This fresh no cook salad is surely a showpiece to grace your table. Fresh oranges are quartered above a bowl and the juice is whisked together with some walnut oil. Next, mixed greens are tossed with this dressing and topped with the orange slices, crumbled blue cheese and roughly chopped walnuts. This salad surely should be considered a superfood. I will also note that Johanna has written a must read article if you are interested in the history of the mighty orange. (Melbourne, Australia)

Michelle of the Tiffin Box contributes this delightful Home Grown Parsley and Potato Soup. I was sad to read that her garden was essentially whipped out by a massive hail storm. On a brighter note, we do have this recipe that really is ideal for hot summer months and at least some of the garden goodness was salvaged. This soup starts with sautéd onions and garlic. Potatoes are added next and after pan frying, vegetable stock, and this mixture is left to simmer until the potatoes are tender. Blanched parsley is added to the soup along with seasoning and some cream if desired. Serve hot or cold. Either way, you are in for a nourishing and tasteful soup. (Edmonton, AB, Canada)

Akheela of TorviewToronto never fails to please and I am sure those of us who want to beat the heat with a refreshing salad will be fawning over this Mango Salad. Simplicity in a bowl, mangos are combined with chili flakes, fresh cilantro, shallots or onion and some fresh lemon juice. Such a lovely side salad requiring minimal preparation. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Heather of Gluten-Free Cat treats us to this beautiful Creamy Kale and Cherry Salad. Such a delicious way to celebrate the cherry season and enjoy summer while it lasts. Russian kale, fresh basil leaves, cherries and green onion are combined and then dressed with mashed avocado, fresh lemon juice and a bit of cayenne pepper. This is my kind of salad. Packed full of goodness and flavour, this is a wonderful way to celebrate the season and to avoid turning on the oven. (Nashville, TN, US)

Entering next is Linzi of Lancashire Food with this light Green Garden Soup employing fresh garden goodness. Described as "sweet and very moreish" the diner is treated to a bowl of peas, broad beans, baby courgettes, rocket, lovage leaves, onion, potato and garlic all cooked in vegetable stock. Whiz the mixture together and serve with some fresh crusty bread. (Lancashire, England, UK)

From Rachel of the Crispy Cook we have her friend Laura's delightful Brown Rice and Lentil Salad with Caramelized Onions. Described as exotic and earthy, this salad combines the goodness of caramelized onions, brown lentils or horse gram, fresh parsley, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, seasoning and balsamic vinegar. Easy and full of wholesome flavours for a lovely side summer dish. (Upstate New York, US)

Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf enters this month with this classic British Mint and Pea Soup that can be served hot or cold, depending on the season. Preferably made with fresh peas, these green delights are combined with scallions, potato, garlic, fresh mint, fresh lemon juice, some caster sugar and buttermilk or sour cream. What a wonderful way to use some fresh mint that grows like a weed and fresh peas are surely a treasured summertime veg. (Bangalore, India)

My dear friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes shares her Asparagus, Avocado, Blue Cheese and Beetroot Salad. Dang, I wish I lived next door to this talented cook. I want this divine dish right now. Mixed salad greens come together with avocado tossed with lemon juice, steamed asparagus, baby beets and blue cheese, topped with your favored salad dressing. Yes, please. A gourmet picnic salad indeed. (Scotland, UK)

Last, but certainly not least, we have this stunning Fava Bean Couscous Timbale Salad with Tahini Dressing from lovely Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. Such a beautiful presentation, cooked pearl couscous is chilled in ramekins, then inverted onto serving plates, then surrounded by fava beans and dressed with tahini oil, tahini, fresh lemon juice, garlic, cumin and seasoning. For a final touch, each plate is graced with smoky grilled eggplant and the salad is garnished with fresh parsley. A very refreshing summer meal for sure. (New York, US)

Jacqueline will be hosting the August edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the challenge.


MapMaster said...

I could always very happily eat everything on these roundups, so choosing one means I have to go with what I'd want to eat most at just this given moment. This time that would be Michelle's Home Grown Parsley and Potato Soup.

sugarandice said...

Dena's Vichyssoise Soup really hits the spot on hot summer days!

janet @ the taste space said...

So many great dishes this month. Definitely enjoying the summer of salads! My vote is for the kentil and rice salad with caramelized onions. :-)

Jacqueline said...

Your topic really inspired everyone this month Lisa. A great roundup. I especially love Brittany's salad.

Rachel said...

I think I would like a dollop of each of the above. But for sheer visual pleasure, I think my vote must go to the vivid green Parsley and Potato Soup!

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for the lovely roundup