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When it's as hot as an oven outside, you don't want to re-create that heat inside.

Readers in sweltering cities responded to our request to share cool cooking tips and recipes for hot summer days.

Gazpacho, that cool Spanish soup that takes advantage of the tomatoes and cucumbers now abundant in the garden and at the farmers market, was the recipe most suggested. We offer a reader's classic version as well as a tasty twist: a Spicy Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Soup from award-winning chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C.

> Recipes and tips

* Make rice summer rolls, which at most require boiling water in the microwave to soak the rice paper and rice noodles. Tweedy Tattersall of Durham, N.C., shared this link, http://bit.ly/osDEZG, for a how-to video and recipe from cookbook author Mark Bittman.

* Make gazpacho, suggested several readers, including Katie Oleson of Charlotte, N.C. She shared this recipe from Ina Garten, the Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa," (http://bit.ly/heTbK ) although Oleson adds jalapeno and basil and tops her gazpacho with sour cream. Oleson says it makes a great meal with a salad or good bread. Or make open-faced or toasted cheese sandwiches in the toaster oven.

* Use store-bought rotisserie chicken to make chicken salad. This curried chicken salad recipe is from Diane Engles of North Raleigh, N.C.: Combine 4 cups diced chicken, 1 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup raisins with this dressing: 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon each white wine vinegar, soy sauce and minced onion, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons honey (optional) and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

* Cook in the morning when it is cool. Karen Lee Martinez of Hickory, N.C., cooks bean salad, potato salad or macaroni salad in the morning and then uses her grill in the evening to cook sausages, burgers or fish. Serve those with sliced cucumbers or tomatoes for easy weeknight meals.

* Use your grill. Grill enough proteins, such as beef, chicken or fish, to last several meals, like Mary Jo Lassiter of North Raleigh, N.C. Use side burner to cook vegetables, boil pasta or heat baked beans.

* Your toaster oven is your friend. Anne Brill of Cary, N.C., offered this recipe for crab and deviled ham muffins, which can easily be adapted to the toaster oven: Broil four split English muffins in the toaster oven. Butter muffins, spread with deviled ham from one 4.5-ounce can and top with crab salad made with 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup chopped celery and one 7.5-ounce package of crabmeat. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, sprinkle with paprika and serve.

* Do most of your cooking on Sunday. Sunny Davis of Zebulon, N.C., cooks several salads to serve throughout the week, such as pickled shrimp, potato and green bean salad and tuna salad using fresh tuna.

> Layered Turkey Sandwiches

2 medium cucumbers, cut lengthwise into thin wedges

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Coarse sea salt and ground pepper

1 country-style round bread loaf, 8 inches in diameter

1/3 cup olive tapenade

1/2 pound deli turkey, thinly sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 large tomato, thinly sliced

4 ounces provolone, thinly sliced

Toss cucumbers with vinegar and sugar in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Cut bread loaf in half horizontally and scoop out insides. Spread inside of each half with olive tapenade. Arrange turkey on bottom half of bread. Top with zucchini, marinated cucumbers, tomato and cheese. Place top half of bread on top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.

Unwrap sandwich and cut into four wedges. Serves 4.

(Tapenade is an olive spread sold in most grocery stores. Adapted from Everyday Food.)

> Spicy BLT Soup

2 pounds assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped

Coarse sea salt and ground pepper

1 small cucumber, roughly chopped

2 medium Fresno chiles or jalapenos, stemmed and chopped

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 slice white bread, crust removed, torn into pieces

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Chopped egg and garlic vinaigrette (recipe below)

Croutons, crumbled cooked bacon and sliced lettuce, for toppings

Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt; let sit for 10 minutes.

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, chiles, onion, garlic, vinegar, bread, oil and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids, and then discard solids. Cover soup and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of vinaigrette and desired toppings. Serves 4.

(From chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill.)

> Chopped Egg and Garlic Vinaigrette

2 hard-cooked eggs

1 garlic clove, minced and mashed into a paste

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Coarse sea salt

Separate egg whites and yolks. Chop egg whites and set aside.

Mash yolks in a small bowl. Stir in garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Add egg whites. Season with salt. Serve.

(From chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill.)

> Chickpea-Couscous Salad with Lemon and Fresh Mint

Juice of one large lemon, or more to taste

1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1/4 cup raisins

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 to 1/3 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, torn

Combine lemon juice, onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.

Place couscous, water and remaining salt and pepper in a large microwave proof glass bowl. Microwave, covered, on high for 2 minutes. Carefully check couscous for tenderness. If needed, give it another 30 seconds to 1 minute cooking time. You will want it slightly firmer than usual because it will finish cooking as it sits.

Add red pepper, celery, olives and raisins to the large bowl with the onions-dressing mixture. Add couscous, chickpeas and mint. Taste for lemon juice, salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Serve the salad cool or at room temperature. Serves 4.

(From "Weeknight Kitchen with Lynne Rossetto Kasper" of "The Splendid Table" radio show.)