Kitchen Accomplice- 'Summertime, and the cold soup makin' is easy'

   Summer is time to refashion our notion of how to serve soup. 
   In spite of all the patio ware,  I still prefer to use glass goblets outside.  There is just something about them that seems, well, classy, to me, at least. 
   And the ones I use for soups are the dollar variety stemware that can handle being frosted in the freezer after running them under cold water for a couple of seconds. 
   Once you bring them from the freezer, they develop a pleasing frostiness and if carefully handled by the stem you will not leave fingerprints.  Just scoop in your soup and serve.
   A delicious wintertime soup is the Greek offering, Avgolemono.  It is easily transformed into a summer specialty by simply cooling and refrigerating. 
   Your blender or food processor will make sure it is a good consistency for consuming without a spoon – and it is wonderfully delicious for patio dining in the summer. 
   And for the kids at the party, frost up some ceramic mugs that will be easier for them to deal with. 
   A snip of fresh dill on the top is all it takes.

Chilled and Dilled Avgolemono Soup
In the Greek, soup known as avgolemono ("ahv-go-LEH-mo-no") humble ingredients—chicken broth, lemon juice, eggs, a small amount of rice are all there is to it.

   4 cups chicken stock
   1/4 cup medium-or long-grain white rice
   2 large eggs
   3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
   1 scallion green, thinly sliced
   2 tablespoons chopped dill

   Simmer stock and rice in a heavy medium saucepan, covered, until rice is very tender, about 30 minutes.
   Purée mixture in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).
   Whisk eggs together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot stock mixture.
   Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until soup registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer.
   Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl.
   Stir in lemon juice, then quick-chill in an ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cold.
   Stir in scallion, dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
   This soup can be made two days ahead and chilled.
   Yield: Makes 4 servings; active time: 45 minutes; total time: 1 1/4 hours.
   Julia Child’s potato and leek soup – Vichyssoise
   “Here is the mother of the family in all her simplicity.
   “You'll note there's no chicken stock here, just water, leeks, potatoes, and salt in the soup base. However, you may include chicken stock if you wish, and you may certainly include milk.
   “A bit of cream at the end is a nourishing touch, but by no means necessary.” -- Julia Child from The Way to Cook , Alfred A. Knopf.

   4 cups sliced leeks, white part only
   4 cups diced potatoes, old or baking potatoes recommended
   6 to 7 cups water
   1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
   1/2 cup or more sour cream, heavy cream, or crème fraîche, optional
   1 Tablespoon fresh chives or parsley, minced
   Special equipment suggested:  A heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan with cover. If you are not puréeing the soup, cut the vegetables rather neatly.

   Bring the leeks, potatoes and water to the boil in the saucepan. Salt lightly, cover partially, and simmer 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
   Purée the soup if you wish.
   Taste, and correct seasoning.
   After chilling the soup, you may wish to stir in a little more cream. Taste carefully again, and correct the seasoning.
   Top each serving with a sprinkle of chives or parsley.
   Yield: 6-8 servings, about 2 1/2 quarts.

Judge Kirkendall is a retired probate judge. He has taught cooking classes for more than 25 years at various cooking schools in the Ann Arbor area and has himself attended classes at Cordon Bleu and La Varenne in Paris, as well as schools in New York, New Orleans and San Francisco. 
He is past president of the National College of Probate Judges and can be reached at


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