the appetizer:

Kate steps beyond gazpacho into a wider world of cold soups and also explores the health benefits of lemons, plus picks her favorite summer corn recipes in What To Eat This Month.

Kate Heyhoe
Kate's Global Kitchen

Cold Soups for Summer:
Gazpacho and Beyond

by Kate Heyhoe

gazpacho

 

Some cultures long ago created cold soups that are now classics, like gazpacho and vichyssoise. We've got recipes for them as well as for more unusual chillers like Korean Fruit Soup, Chilled Beet and Cantaloupe Soup, Avocado-Tequila Soup, Watermelon Gazpacho, and my personal favorite, Iced Korean Cucumber Soup.

We usually think of soup as a steaming, hot way to warm up. But soup is a good way to cool down—cold soup, that is. When summer temperatures soar, or in places where temperatures are almost always near the century mark, a chilled soup acts as a refreshing heat antidote. While many places enjoy cold fruit soups for a starter or dessert, chilled savory soups showcase summer's best produce, from crisp cucumbers and peppers to fresh herbs and lusty spices.

Want to know more about the world's most famous cold soups? Read on...

 

Cold Soups from Around the Globe

 

Lemons and Other Functional Foods

Lemons

We hear a lot about functional foods these days—foods that claim to bear health-promoting properties, as in probiotic-packed yogurts or vitamin-enriched products. But plain-Jane, unadulterated foods like lemons have played landmark historical roles in combating deadly illnesses.

During the Age of Sail, in the 1600s and 1700s, the countries of Europe amassed huge navies and explored the globe by sea, embarking on voyages that would last months before docking at land. In the 18th Century, Great Britain ruled the waves with its impressive navy, but not without substantial battles against France's armada under Napoleon and other European navies. Yet despite these seafaring wars, more than half the men on these ships died not from battle, but from a simple but potentially deadly vitamin deficiency, known as scurvy. In fact, in the early years of exploration, scurvy killed more sailors than all the shipwrecks and sea battles combined.

The sailors developed scurvy because their seafaring diets lacked Vitamin C, found in fruits (especially citrus), vegetables, and other fresh foods. Once the British sailors were given lemons and limes to eat (giving rise to the nickname of "limeys"), the incidence of scurvy declined.

Sailors weren't the only ones to suffer from scurvy. During the California Gold Rush of the 1800s, miners developed scurvy from working for long periods underground without fresh foods. This caused a demand for lemons, giving rise to the California citrus industry. But it wasn't until the early 1900s that vitamin C was discovered as the true source, not the fresh fruit itself, which prevented the disease. Today we know that one lemon's juice provides one-third the daily requirement of Vitamin C.

Throughout the world, people suffer from various vitamin deficiencies. Poor diets can happen anywhere, not just in places of poverty. Even when they think they're eating well, and have the ability to eat a balanced diet, some people may not get all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients their bodies need.

Besides scurvy, some of the world's most puzzling illnesses have been caused solely by dietary deficiencies, such as:

As Hippocrates espoused nearly 2,500 years ago: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Or: eat well and balanced, be well and balanced.


What to Eat This Month

Summer Corn Recipes
Chicken of the Month
 

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This page modified August 2010