There's no denying it: summer's here in New York in all its fine, hot glory. For the most part, summer is simply wonderful - days spent outdoors without the encumbrance of annoying heavy, outer layers; cooling off with iced refreshments; and refueling with some of the season's finest fruits and vegetables.

But sometimes (like this week), we're reminded of some of summer's pitfalls - relentless humidity creating an instantaneous slick on your pores; the endless sea of tourists walking ever so slowly down cramped sidewalks; and of course, the smells. Oh, the smells. Unidentifiable, inhuman odors wafting from every dank city corner.

But I digress! Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad and when we come across recipes like this beautifully chilled asparagus vichyssoise from Honest Cooking, we're reminded time and again how lucky we are not to be stuck in the cold depths of winter.

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By Valerie Harrison

While Spring is when everything seems to come alive, summer is an all too swift reminder of lazy, hazy days of lying on the beach, grilling outdoors, and doing all that you can to prevent a heat induced coma. It is the season for the last of the Spring asparagus, the delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon filling the air to season your dishes.

In the summer the days are longer
and the markets are bursting with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season that are gleaned from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes. I for one can’t resist enjoying more of the longer, warmer days with meals in the great outdoors. Instead of welcoming friends in from the cold, I relish ushering them outside for lingering dinners on the deck. Is it just me, or does everything taste better when eaten outside? Whether it’s a camp site, your cottage, the beach or your own backyard, dining outside offers the perfect opportunity to entertain outdoors enhanced by mother nature.

I found myself with a glut of the seasons last spears of asparagus,
some baby arugula and leeks. In a few short days I will be on vacation so what better time to clear the fridge of perishables and make room for the next season of fruits and vegetables. There are many obvious advantages to cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients we find at our markets this time of year. The produce tastes richer, fresher, and is more nutritious. The beauty is in their pure simplicity. The standout flavours are the fresh, natural ingredients themselves such as the sweet taste of a carrot or the pop of a freshly shelled pea.

This recipe is loosely based on one from the Aerie Resort and Spa on Vancouver Island. The resort was a haven for those who enjoy fine wines and gourmet cuisine. We found creative menus inspired by fresh local ingredients mixed with a dash of incredible ocean views.

There is no better way to enjoy the seasons bounty
when the temperatures rise than with a delicious, simple chilled soup. This twist on a classic vichyssoise soup is perfect for an alfresco meal in the great outdoors. Your soup can be prepared in the cooling breezes of a summer morning, blitzed with a blender and served care free for supper that night without heating up the kitchen. You don’t even have to eat it chilled if you don’t want to, but do try it! Served hot, this leek and potato soup is known as asparagus potage parmentier. Served cold, it’s called asparagus vichyssoise.  This soup can be served in shot glasses as an appetizer. No matter how you choose to serve it, enjoy!!!!

Click here for the recipe for Farmers Market Asparagus Vichyssoise

This article originally appeared at Honest Cooking, an international online food magazine featuring more than 70 food and wine writers from across the globe, with a focus on exciting recipes, food news and culinary travel.