soup is the quintessential comfort food, but there’s
nothing more welcoming than a bowl of chilled soup during
scorching summer days.
soups combine a wealth of fresh, seasonal ingredients and
flavors in a quick, no-fuss, simple meal.
is a four-season food that isn’t meant just for the cold
days when you want to be cozy but also for the summer when
you want something refreshing and easy and don’t want to
turn on the stove," says Julie Peacock, co-author of
"The Soup Club Cookbook." It’s a good genre of
food — it’s an easy meal and way of combining lots of
flavors in a bowl, she adds.
we think of chilled soups the first thing that usually comes
to mind is the renowned Spanish gazpacho — the uncooked
tomato-based soup with raw cucumbers, peppers and onion.
Despite the extra chopping involved, Ms. Peacock favors the
concoction because the end result packs a bold, chunky bite
of savory summer flavors.
variations have expanded the cold soup menu in recent times.
There are savory purees including the classic vichyssoise
crafted by Chef Louis Diat at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New
York in the early 20th century. Sassy, textured raw
vegetable creations are on the list, while cooked then
chilled soups are always a convenient option. And then there
are the semi-sweet fruit purees and raw fruit-based soups
served as desserts.
soups are supposed to excite your appetite, not satiate your
hunger, and therefore are served primarily as starters or
accompaniments. Occasionally they can be the main attraction
of the meal. "They are also a nice finisher and palate
cleanser and can act as a digestif at the end of a
meal," Peacock says.
can make a plethora of things with chilled soups, yet, to a
novice it can still be a surprising sensation when tasting a
cold soup, especially given the texture and fresh, uncooked
ingredients, says Mikhail Istomin, marketing director at the
Uzbek restaurant Kavsar in Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington.
rule of thumb for cold soups is fresh ingredients, he says.
Fresh kefir (liquid) and yogurt also are important when
making milk-based broths, he says. Peacock stresses the
importance of seasonal and high-quality ingredients when
whipping up chilled soups. Moreover, it’s key to use
citrus to bring that next level of zing, and be liberal with
fresh herbs for that extra brightness. Add plenty of
seasoning and don’t forget to factor in the time to chill
the soup and allow the flavors to mingle, she says.
it comes to combinations, there’s a world of
possibilities. Peacock opts to combine vegetables and herbs
such as cucumber and yogurt, tomato, basil and parsley;
avocado, arugula and cilantro; or melon and mint. You can
always turn your salad into soup with a mix of lettuces and
herbs, thicken the puree with yogurt and top it with a
colorful salsa. Combine sweet melons with vegetables and
brighten the flavor with splashes of lime or lemon juice.
Spike peaches with prosecco and cool mint or drown crimson
berries in a pool of red wine. For a vegan approach, try a
blend of bread, almonds, garlic, vinegar, water and olive
around the world embrace the cold soup tradition. Ukraine is
proud of its sorrel soup, Russia is famous for its beet
borsch, while Uzbekistan revels in its okroshka, a
traditional mixture of raw vegetables served in a
milk-based, tangy cold broth. It can be vegetarian or
speckled with chunks of beef for a meaty version. In
Pittsburgh, chef Tahmina Umaralieva of Kavsar serves an
authentic family recipe of okroshka.
regardless of country, technique or type of soup, plenty of
seasoning is vital as cold soups tend to showcase a dull
edge with flavors lessening in the cold, Peacock says. Amp
up the taste of soups with a wide array of garnishes; top
them with tangy vegetables, hard-cooked eggs, dollops of
sour cream and seafood. Sprinkle purees with herbs such as
mint, basil or dill, add a dash of citrus and toss in some
toasted nuts. For a brave punch, finish the dish with a
pinch of red pepper flakes.
might want to avoid loads of animal fat or butter in cold
soups as they tend to envelop your mouth in an unpleasant
be intimidated to make cold soups. "If you can make a
margarita you can make a cold soup," Peacock says. At
the very least, get out of your comfort zone and try chilled
soups. It will be a challenge, but you will be pleasantly
surprised, Istomin adds.
SOUP WITH RADISH SALSA
soup is literally a summer salad turned into soup. The
intensely green soup comes together in a blender, which
means there is no cooking involved. Feel free to adjust the
amount of onions to your personal taste.
torn butterhead lettuce leaves
(about 2 ounces) stemmed baby spinach
fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
cup coarsely chopped shallot
cup plain yogurt
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
and freshly ground pepper to taste
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
tablespoon red wine vinegar
teaspoon dry mustard
of salt and freshly ground pepper
cup red radish matchsticks
cup seeded-cucumber matchsticks
all soup ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a blender
until smooth. Season to taste.
in a covered container until chilled, at least 3 hours,
before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.
salsa: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard,
salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in radish and cucumber
strips. Cover and refrigerate.
soup in shallow bowls with a mound of salsa spooned atop
Adapted from "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup: The Best
Vegetarian Recipes" by Paulette Mitchell (Chronicle
watermelon so having the watery fruit be the star of this
soup was right up my alley. Although it’s called a
gazpacho, the tomato shines faintly in the background
leaving center stage for the watermelon.
(5-pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh
chopped (6 cups)
medium heirloom tomato, chopped
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
blender or food processor, combine watermelon, tomato and
olive oil. Zest one lime and squeeze juice; add zest and
juice to the blender and puree until mixture is smooth. Pour
soup into a large bowl and stir in the basil, mint, salt and
pepper. Chill soup for at least 3 hours before serving.
serve, pour soup into chilled bowls. Cut remaining lime into
wedges and use to garnish the bowls.
From "Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count…Without
Stressing Out" by Giada De Laurentiis (Clarkson Potter;
GAZPACHO WITH GRAPES
replaces the tomatoes found in a traditional gazpacho. I
loved how the almonds in this soup gave it a creamy
white baguette, crust removed
cup slivered almonds, plus more for topping
tablespoon sherry vinegar
garlic clove, peeled
cup extra-virgin olive oil
seedless green grapes, halved
finely diced cucumbers
food processor, combine baguette, almonds, vinegar, garlic
and salt. Process, adding ice water gradually to make a
machine running, drizzle in oil. Transfer puree to a medium
bowl or tureen, then stir in grapes and cucumber.
Refrigerate for up to 3 days until serving. Before serving,
top the soup with a few slivered almonds for an additional
Adapted from "Big Vegan: More than 350 Recipes No Meat
/ No Dairy All Delicious" by Robin Asbell (Chronicle
MINTED PEACH AND PROSECCO SOUP
fruity and sweet with a boozy punch of prosecco, this
dessert is a palate cleanser. I loved every spoonful.
pounds fresh peaches, peeled and pitted
cups dry prosecco
cup fresh mint, finely chopped
cup coconut milk
tablespoons agave syrup, plus extra if needed
tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus extra if
peaches and put them in a 4-quart saucepan with prosecco.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until peaches
are breaking down, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, then
stir in mint and let cool.
blender or food processor, puree peaches with milk, agave
syrup and lemon juice.
soup up to 4 days. Taste and adjust lemon juice or agave.
Serve in bowls with mint sprigs.
From "Big Vegan: More than 350 Recipes No Meat / No
Dairy All Delicious" by Robin Asbell (Chronicle Books;
SORREL SOUP (SCHAV)
recipe calls for sorrel, an herb that looks like arugula but
has a somewhat sour taste. As I could not find it, I used
baby spinach and added a few extra tablespoons of fresh
lemon juice. Although it’s called Ukranian Sorrel Soup,
this soup is actually very popular in my native Romania,
too. It can be served cold but it tastes just as delicious
tablespoon unsalted butter
pound fresh sorrel leaves, stemmed
bunch scallions, white parts and 4 inches of green tops,
vegetable stock, chicken stock, or purchased stock
tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
tablespoons granulated sugar
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
large egg yolks
and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 to 4
diced hard-cooked eggs, for garnish
cup sour cream, for garnish
cup chopped fresh dill, for garnish
butter in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add sorrel
and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes,
or until the sorrel wilts. Add stock and tarragon and bring
to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and
simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir sugar and lemon
juice into the soup.
egg yolks in a mixing bowl with a whisk until thick and
light yellow in color. Slowly beat about 1 cup of the hot
soup into the egg yolks so they are gradually warmed up, and
then return the egg and soup mixture to the pot. Place pot
over medium-low heat, and stir constantly, reaching all
parts of the bottom of the pot, until mixture reaches about
170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. At this point it
will begin to steam and thicken slightly. Do not allow
mixture to boil or the eggs will scramble. Season to taste
with salt and pepper.
soup until cold, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, ladle into bowls,
topping each serving with diced eggs, sour cream and dill.
6 to 8.
The soup can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and
refrigerated, tightly covered. Stir well before serving.
From "Soup of the Day: 150 Delicious & Comforting
Recipes from Our Favorite Restaurants" by Ellen Brown
(Running Press; 2014)
I think of the heat in Los Angeles Valley in August, I want
to make this soup… even if it’s a snowy day in January
on the East Coast. Unlike the seasonally available
ingredients in many chilled soups, cucumbers are available
year-round. So go ahead and indulge when the urge
arises," co-author Tina Carr says.
medium cucumbers (about 2.5 pounds), divided
cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped, divided
cups plain Greek yogurt, divided
scallion, green and white parts, chopped
garlic clove, minced
cup fresh mint leaves
cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
bunch dill, plus 1/4 cup minced
zest of half a lemon plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon
cup ice-cold water, or cold vegetable broth, plus more as
and freshly ground black pepper
of hot sauce
seed, and roughly chop 4 cucumbers. Peel remaining cucumber.
Cut it lengthwise, then seed and slice it into half-moons
and set aside for garnish.
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped cucumbers, 2 cups yogurt, scallion,
garlic, mint, parsley, dill, lemon zest and juice, and water
or broth in a stockpot. Using an immersion blender, blend
until very smooth. Add additional chilled water as needed to
blend. Season with salt and pepper.
for at least 2 hours before serving, or until thoroughly
serve: Stir 1/2 cup of walnuts into the soup. Top with dill,
a dollop of yogurt, finely sliced cucumber and 1/2 cup
walnuts. Add a splash of hot sauce.
Adapted from "The Soup Club Cookbook" by Courtney
Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow and Julie Peacock
(Clarkson Potter; 2015)
could serve 1 cup of chilled cooked beef along with the
vegetables if you want to please meat-lovers.
medium boiled potatoes
chopped mixed greens such as dill, parsley, green onion and
fresh green garlic
chilled kefir (Kavsar uses its own traditional milk-based
water if you prefer a thinner soup
ground black pepper and salt to taste
dice eggs, potatoes, cucumbers and radishes. Chop greens.
Mix everything in a bowl and pour chilled kefir over
mixture. Add water to adjust consistency. Season with pepper
immediately to preserve freshness of the ingredients.
From Kavsar Restaurant, Mount Washington