Beloved Los Angeles eatery Lemonade (there are currently 13 locations in Southern California) is a favorite among celebs like Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Lauren Conrad and Julie Bowen, among others. They remind us we don’t have to ditch soup during the summer months by offering up their tasty Tortilla Soup recipe as well as a light Fig and Arugula Salad, which are both included in the The Lemonade Cookbook along with scores of their other favorite recipes.

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Tortilla_Soup(1)Tortilla Soup
Makes 8 cups

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves,
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1½ quarts low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups fried corn tortilla strips, plus more for serving
Cubed avocado, cilantro, sour cream,
shredded cheese, and lime wedges, for serving

Coat a soup pot with the oil and put over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion begins to soften but not brown, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and oregano. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until the spices become fragrant, taking care not to burn. Pour in the diced tomatoes and broth. Simmer until the tomatoes thicken slightly, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the soup to a boil. Add the tortilla chips. Simmer until the chips soften and break down into the soup, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender filling it no more than halfway. Puree for a few seconds until completely smooth; be sure to hold down the lid with a kitchen towel for safety. If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it.

If desired, pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a terrine or other pot, pushing the solids with the back of a wooden spoon. Discard the vegetable pieces. Repeat with the remaining soup. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the soup with your favorite toppings, such as tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and fresh lime.

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Arugula_Salad_-_high_res(1)Arugula, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 cups

10 ounces baby arugula leaves
8 fresh Mission figs, stemmed, halved, and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled into medium-size chunks
1/3 cup Sherry Vinaigrette
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine the arugula, figs, and cheese. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients together to lightly coat.

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Sherry Vinaigrette
(also great drizzled over grilled vegetables such as summer squash, bell peppers and eggplant)

1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl or Mason jar, combine the shallot, honey, sherry and balsamic vinegars, and olive and canola oils; season with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to blend. Makes 1 cup.

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