Mention cold soups and a lot of people respond with a "Blech!" I suspect many of them are imagining something like cold chicken vegetable soup or cold minestrone - neither of which particularly appeals to me either. But there are indeed soups that are intended to be eaten cold. Such soups are particularly welcome at cookouts, barbeques, and even picnics where you're outside in the summer heat. With the hottest part of the summer approaching I thought a collection of recipes for cold soups might be a nice addition to the menu. So I've posted five of my favorite recipes.
This is a wonderfully cool and refreshing recipe for cucumber soup with a nice touch of exotica from the curry. Serve as a first course at dinner – particularly with fish – or with a sandwich for lunch. Serves 2.
When I snap off the woody ends of asparagus for one dish or another I collect the ends in a plastic bag and freeze them. At the end of the season I make this asparagus soup recipe using the woody ends to make stock. Serves 4.
My recipe for gazpacho is somewhat untraditional, but it rich, lucious, and packed with the bright flavors of summer - everything one could ask for in a gazpacho recipe. Serves 4.
When I was a kid my mother used to make cold borscht two or three times a summer. She'd make hot borscht in the winter as well, but I didn't like it as much. At any rate, I was sitting in my office sweating the other day and trying to put off turning on the AC for as long as I could stand it when I remembered my mother's cold borscht. I gave up, turned on the AC, then got in my air-conditioned car and went to the market for beets. I didn't have a recipe, but I looked at several and came up with this. It's wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day.
There’s debate about the origins of vichyssoise - some claim it’s a French dish and others an American innovation - among culinary historians. The most popular theory is that it was created by chef Louis Diat in 1917 for the opening of a rooftop garden restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City based on a traditional French potato soup. Diat's primary innovation was to serve it chilled. He named the soup Vichyssoise in honor of the town where he was born, Vichy.