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Video: Summer soups, chilled and spiked!

TODAY recipes
updated 5/29/2012 6:36:10 PM ET 2012-05-29T22:36:10

As temperatures soar, nothing hits the spot like a mouthwatering chilled soup — especially when that soup involves watermelon, cucumber, basil and vodka. This summer, be sure to try chef Giada De Laurentiis’ recipes for chilled spiked watermelon and cucumber soup and orange-scented chilled tomato soup.

Recipe: Chilled spiked watermelon and cucumber soup (on this page) Recipe: Orange-scented chilled tomato soup (on this page)

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Chilled spiked watermelon and cucumber soup

Ingredients
  • 1/2 9-pound watermelon (about 5 cups), cut into 3/4-to-1-inch pieces (Reserve 12 pieces for garnish)
  • 2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chilled vodka
  • 6 3/4-to-1-inch pieces of feta cheese
  • Special equipment : 6 small skewers
Preparation

Place the watermelon chunks into a blender and blend. Add the cucumber, salt, pepper, basil and vodka and blend.  Chill the soup for at least 3 hours until ready to serve.

Before serving, take a skewer and place one piece of leftover watermelon, one piece of feta and the another piece of watermelon.

Pour the soup into chilled bowls or martini glasses and serve with one skewer.

Recipe: Orange-scented chilled tomato soup

Ingredients
  • For the soup:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • For the yogurt topping:
  • 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1/2 small orange
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
Preparation

To make the soup:
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with juice), chicken broth, orange juice, maple syrup, tomato paste and basil. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth. Cool the soup to room temperature, about 1 hour. Chill for at least 2 hours until ready to serve. Season the chilled soup with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the yogurt topping:
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, zest and maple syrup until smooth.

Ladle the soup into chilled soup bowls and top with a dollop of the seasoned yogurt.

Yield: 4 servings (5 1/2 cups). Prep time: 10 minutes.

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