Cold soups are the perfect meal for warm summer days

It’s summer in the Northwest, and though we don’t have the searing heat and wearing humidity of other parts of the country, the weather here can get warm.

On hot afternoons, a bowl of cold soup can be refreshing, filling and healthy.

Appetites decrease when the temperatures rise. Cooks and doctors agree that cold soup provides the nutrients our bodies crave in hot weather and the soup helps keep our fluid levels up. Made fresh with fruits and vegetables, cold soups aren’t processed much, leaving the vitamins and nutrients we need for fuel.

You don’t have to turn on the stove and you don’t have to eat much to be satisfied.

The Sisters Restaurant in downtown Everett specializes in cold soups during warm weather.

The Quall sisters, Tory, Jenny, Gretchen and Kathy, and their mother, Martha Quall, started the restaurant 30 years ago at 2804 Grand Ave. The Sno-Isle Food Co-op is next door.

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, with daily main dish specials and lots of wonderful baked goods.

Initially, Sisters focused on sandwiches, hot soups and salads.

“Interests in foods change all the time,” Kathy Quall Pedigo said. “We serve a lot more vegetarian dishes now, and the cold soups have been a great addition. Occasionally we still get someone who wants their gazpacho heated, but most people are much more savvy now.”

Pedigo’s recipe notebook is properly worn and mostly memorized, but she takes a quick glance at it when she mixes up the fresh, cold soups on summer mornings.

She may have initially “stolen” the recipes from cookbooks, but Pedigo said she likes to “jazz it up.” Over the years, the recipes eventually became her own.

“And crushing up corn chips in the gazpacho is part of the flavor for me,” Pedigo said.

Her sister, Gretchen Quall, said the restaurant often sells out of its cold soups. She encourages people to call ahead to reserve a cup.

“We have people we only see in the summer because they are fans of the cold soups — gazpacho, the creamy avocado-cucumber and the spicy tomato-avocado,” Quall said.

The following are recipes from The Sisters. Kathy Quall Pedigo encourages home cooks to see the amounts as approximate and to let their taste buds be their guides.

Gazpacho

Mix together:

  • 1 large can tomato juice, or about 6 cups fresh
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced well
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Avocado-cucumber soup

Blend together:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ice

At this point the consistency will be more like a dip. Thin with buttermilk to taste and for desired consistency.

Sister act

The Sisters Restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 2804 Grand Ave., Everett. For information, call 425-252-0480.

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