Everybody knows that September can be the hottest month in Southern California.
“It still feels like summer,” says Torrance Memorial Medical
Center’s executive chef Sam Sellona, CDM, CFPP. Sellona, a graduate
of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, chose the ingredients
for his Chilled Verde Cucumber, Granny Smith Apple and Cilantro Soup for
their cooling and hydrating properties as well as their tart and sweet
“Cucumber is high in water content and helps keep you hydrated, and
it also helps flush out toxins,” Sellona explains. “The Granny
Smith apple has a nice tart flavor as well as natural fibers and antioxidants.
The apple also works to cleanse your body and helps you feel refreshed.
The Greek yogurt is creamy and tart, of course. And the cilantro adds
a nice SoCal flavor. (Sellona says you can substitute mint for the cilantro,
and you can reduce either by half for a less “herby” flavor.)
Sellona likes this soup because it’s an alternative to gazpacho.
“Everyone has their favorite version of gazpacho,” he explains.
He considers this variation a kind of party soup. “I made it for
one of our VIP events and got very positive feedback. My boss loved it
Note: Garnish with finely diced cucumbers and chopped cilantro. To reduce
fat content, use ½ tablespoon of olive oil.