Cold dishes… to survive african warm

The 40 degrees of this warm June remind us that many cold dishes are part of the Italian tradition and of some near countries that have always suffered for the high temperatures during summer. The cold dishes are important in the diet especially if are made with vegetables and legumes because they are rich in water and proteins and help to rehydrate.

As first recipe we mention the cold minestrone, a vegetarian dish, nutritious and light, which in the cold version becomes ideal for the summer season. The preparation is the same of the classic minestrone: vegetables stewed with vegetable broth, flavored with chopped parsley. Once cooked, the minestrone should be left to be cool and served with crunchy bruschetta.

The perfect recipe for this period, however, cannot be done without tomato. Don’t call it gazpacho because the tomato soup has a preparation that is very different from the Spanish one. The secret is in the use of San Marzano tomatoes, combined with some very simple ingredients, in several variations, such as lemon, basil, or with turmeric and the final addition of sour cream.

The cold chickpea soup is a very simple and tasty first course. A poor recipe, of peasant origin, which is easily prepared. In addition to well-cooked chickpeas, add laurel and rosemary (twigs tied with string). Cover the chickpeas with the hot vegetable stock and add the tomato puree. Let it rest and cool.

From Spain comes the famous Gazpacho, the cold soup for excellence, essential to survive the very hot Andalusian summers. To prepare it, you need tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, celery, cucumbers: everything must be blended, flavored with salt, oil, vinegar, spices and thickened with Greek yogurt. To get it even colder, you can add ice cubes or crushed ice.

From Portugal instead the Soupa Verde Frio, a recipe rich in vegetables. In the mixer you have to put cucumbers, shallots, spinach, celery, lettuce, parsley; then all must be mixed with a rather thick chicken broth, before being blended again, salted and left in the fridge to rest.

There is also, and could not be missed, an African recipe: the potato and peanut butter cream, made with stewed potatoes and carrots, ginger and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, pepper. The mixture should be blended and thickened with peanut butter.