Be Inspired” Seasonally with Rita Calvert

Chilled Carrot and Summer Squash Soup


‘bama-Style Chicken Kebabs 

We're still grooving on the highlights of Chesapeake harvest (and will be for a time to come). Summer squash, carrots and local poultry are this weeks stars. We have lots of varieties of  summer squash to choose from and I recommend a lighter colored one like crookneck, pattypan or the "cue ball". Think color combos...if you combine the green zucchini with the orange carrot, you'll get an old wintery brown color. As always, employ those fresh herbs!


Chilled Carrot and Summer Squash Soup

Serves 4

 Guaranteed to become a new summer favorite, this nutrient rich, low cal and creative chilled soup is a novel way to put all that summer squash to good use. The soup is also good served warm.

  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 2 cups fresh carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • hot sauce or Sriracha, if desired
  • 1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • Fresh garlic chives, cut in 1/4" lengths for garnish

 Heat a large saucepan over medium high. When hot, add the cumin and coriander seeds and dry-roast until fragrant-about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and pulverize until ground.

 Heat the same large saucepan over medium; add ground spices, carrots, broth and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer until carrots begin to soften, about 7 minutes.

 Add onion, salt, pepper, and all but 4 tablespoons of squash. Cover, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender and flavors are blended, 15 to 20 minutes.

 In food processor, blender or with a hand blender add the garlic and puree soup until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add hot sauce as desired. Pour into bowl, cover, and chill 1 hour.

 When ready to serve, stir yogurt into soup until combined. Divide into 4 bowls and garnish each with a tablespoon of reserved squash and garlic chives. If using, dot with more hot sauce.


‘bama-Style Chicken Kebabs 

(This is as in Alabama, NOT Obama from Maybe you've heard of or made "white" barbecue sauce from Alabama -- it's tart and tangy with mayo and vinegar as its base. The following is a review of these divine skewers: “Pat, my husband and I made these last night, and they were AMAZING! We couldn't say enough good things about them. We just loved their combination of sweet, tangy, creamy and spicy! I'm just sad that I let my husband take the leftovers for lunch today, and I'm stuck eating a salad now....”

 I’ve improved them even more by marinating the chicken in the sauce first.

 Makes 4 kebabs (but there will be enough sauce to do 6 kebabs)


  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

 Whisk all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate. (Sauce can be made well ahead of time.)


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Four 12-inch skewers (if using wood, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning)
  • Salt, pepper

 Cut the breast halves into 1 1/2 inch cubes and thread them on the skewers.   Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce for serving. Season the kebabs with a little salt and pepper and coat them with the sauce.

 Light your grill to medium heat and oil the grates well.

 Place your kebabs on the grill and start lightly basting and turning until the chicken is done. Be careful not to burn! 

 Serve them up with a little of the reserved sauce on the side.

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