Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Crisp Spring Soups. Sylvia Emberger, Ahold USA. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Hearty soups are most often thought of as a warm comfort food for the cold months. But lighter soups using fresh spring produce can harness the tastes of a new growing season. Serve a cold vegetable soup as an appetizer while you grill the main course, or enjoy one as part of a light lunch. Cold fruit soups are wonderful as desserts or as part of a breakfast. No matter how you serve spring soups, they are a delicious way to add vegetables and fruits to your meals.

5 Soups to Complement Your Meals

Cucumber Soup. The perfect cold soup for a warm day. Combine a peeled, chopped cucumber with scallions, fresh dill, crushed garlic and black pepper. Add 2 cups buttermilk and chill for about an hour to allow flavors to blend. Enjoy with baked or roasted potatoes to make a meal!

Gazpacho. You can’t go wrong with your own combination of fresh vegetables when making this cold tomato-based soup. Purée chopped tomatoes, green pepper, onions, parsley and minced garlic with tomato juice. Stir in finely chopped cucumbers, additional chopped tomatoes, and green peppers to make a chunky soup. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with ground black pepper.

Strawberry Soup. This soup is a variation on a smoothie that you can even serve at breakfast. In a blender or food processor, purée 1 quart strawberries, 1 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt. Garnish with mint.

Carrot Fennel Soup. Puréed carrots provide just the right consistency and sweetness for this savory soup. Cook 1 pound of sliced carrots, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 chopped fennel bulb and 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds in 1 quart of chicken stock until vegetables are tender. Purée in a blender and garnish with fresh fennel sprigs.

Cold Cherry Soup. This soup is from a traditional European recipe that makes a delicious appetizer or dessert. See recipe below


Cold Cherry Soup
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes + chilling
Cook time: 20 minutes


    • 1 lb fresh, canned or frozen cherries, pitted
    • 2 cups cherry juice or water
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
    • 4 teaspoons light sour cream or non-fat yogurt

In a medium saucepan, combine cherries and juice or water. Add sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Bring to a boil then simmer gently until cherries are just tender. Dissolve the cornstarch in a small amount of cold water, add to the soup, cook and stir until thickened. Allow soup to cool slightly. Cover and chill the soup for two hours in the refrigerator. Garnish each serving with sour cream or yogurt.

Nutrition information per serving:
140 calories, 1 g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g protein

Sylvia Emberger, RD, LDN
Corporate Nutritionist
Ahold USA

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