Back to the Kitchen: Chilled soups for a hot day

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Chilled soups are a simple and refreshing way to enjoy the lazy days of summer. They are perfect for a picnic, potluck or dinner party. As a starter or as a main dish, the soup can be made that day and chilled or up to two days ahead making it perfect for entertaining.

To chill soup quickly, set bowl with soup in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until cold. These refreshing soups just burst with flavor and are bold and hearty, yet crisp and light. A mixture of simple recipes for the vegan, vegetarian or the chicken and fish eater and they can easily be adapted to fit whatever category you fall into. Then there are the dessert soups! For a pretty presentation serve in a martini or margarita glass. Use lemon slices, edible flowers or star fruit as garnishes. Make sure all bowls and glasses are well chilled. Be adventurous and enjoy these savory and sweet soups on a hot day.

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

6 large heirloom tomatoes, all varieties and colors, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

4 Parisian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced into1/4 inch cubes

2 purple bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

In a blender or food processor combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and peppers. Add cilantro, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and jalapeno. Add a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Process vegetables into a juicy soup, leaving it nice and chunky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Chilled Carrot Ginger Soup

1-tablespoon olive oil

2 medium red onions, sliced

1 (4 inch) piece fresh ginger

4 cups vegetable stock

4 cups orange juice

2 pounds carrots cut into 2-inch pieces

Pinch of kosher salt

1/2-teaspoon white pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat and sauté onions until they are translucent. Roughly chop the peeled ginger and add to the onions and sauté’ together for about 3 minutes. Increase heat and add the stock, orange juice and carrots. Simmer over medium heat until the carrots are tender. Season with salt and pepper Puree in batches and chill covered.

Tomato And Red Pepper Soup

2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded

4 medium tomatoes, halved and cored

1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

4 large garlic cloves, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4-cup water

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4-teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, or to taste

Preheat broiler.

Toss bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic with oil and coriander in a large roasting pan and broil about 4 inches from heat until edges of vegetables are charred, about 7 minutes. Stir vegetables, and then broil until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes more. Puree vegetables with any juices from pan in batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients except mint.

Cool soup then chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours. Add mint just before serving.

Cucumber and Dill Soup with Smoked Salmon

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)

1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

3 large fresh dill sprigs

Pinch Salt

1-cup sour cream

4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 tablespoons dill chopped for garnish

Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 1 minute. Add stock dill sprigs, and salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in processor until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in 1/2-cup sour cream and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold. Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Place dollop of sour cream in center of each bowl; sprinkle with smoked salmon and remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.

Corn Soup with Herb Chicken

1-pound boneless skinless chicken breast

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon dill sprigs, chopped

1-tablespoon chives, chopped

2 large russet potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces

5 cups water

5cups corn (about 8 large ears)

1/2-teaspoon ground cumin

1/2-teaspoon cayenne

1/2 to 3/4 cup ice water for thinning soup

Dill and chives for garnish

In a deep saucepan simmer chicken in stock, covered, turning it once, 10 minutes and remove pan from heat. Let chicken stand in stock, covered, 20 minutes, or until just cooked through, and cool, uncovered. Chill mixture, covered, at least until cold, about 6 hours, and up to 1 day. Drain chicken and shred into a bowl. Add dill, chives, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine well.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. In a 4-quart saucepan simmer water, potatoes, corn, and cumin, partially covered, until potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes, and cool. Discard cobs and in a blender purée half of corn mixture in batches until smooth, transferring to a bowl. , Cayenne, and salt to taste. Chill soup, covered. Before serving, thin soup with ice water if desired and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Divide soup among 4 bowls and mound chicken in center.

Citrus Gazpacho

4 pounds Heirloom tomatoes; peeled, seeded

1 Orange; peeled, segmented, diced

1 Pink grapefruit peeled, segmented, diced

3 Garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Orange Zest

1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

1tablespoon Olive oil

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced

1 cups Red onion, diced fine

1 Yellow bell pepper, diced

1 Red pepper, diced

Black pepper and Cayenne pepper, to taste

Dice one tomato and reserve others for blending. Place reserved tomatoes, Orange juice and garlic in blender. Blend to a puree. Transfer puree to a serving bowl; add vinegar, salt, olive oil, zest, dicedorange and grapefruit, cucumber, peppers, onion and black pepper. Mix well. Season with cayenne pepper to taste. Chill for at least 3 hours or over night.

Crab and Avocado Soup

1 cup coarsely chopped avocado

2 cups cooked crabmeat

1/4-cup butter

1/4 cup Sondra flour

1 Pinch salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

4 cups milk

2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

Chopped chives, for garnish

Melt the butter and whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard. Gradually stir in the liquids, and cook until smooth and thick, stirring constantly.

Combine and blend in the remaining ingredients except chives, and chill. Pour into a chilled bowl, and garnish with chopped chives.

Chilled Watermelon-Mint Soup

4 cups cubed seeded watermelon — divided

1-cup apple juice

1 bunch fresh mint leave, chopped

1/2 inch ginger, peeled and minced

1cup Plain yogurt

Freshly ground pepper

Mint sprigs for garnish

Dice enough watermelon to measure 3 cups; reserve the rest for garnish. In blender or food processor blend watermelon, apple juice, mint

Leaves and ginger until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour to blend flavors.

Serve in small chilled bowls; garnish with reserved diced watermelon,

a dollop of yogurt, pepper and mint sprig.

Chilled Cherry Soup

1 Pounds ripe red cherries, pitted

(Pits reserved)

1-cup water

1 cup dry white wine

1/4-cup sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups sour cream

Mint for Garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the cherry pits, water and wine, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Cover and return to heat and let steep for 5 minutes more. Pour the liquid through a sieve and discard pits. Return the liquid to the pan. Add the cherries. Over medium heat bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer gently 5 minutes more. Blend the soup until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add lemon zest and cover and refrigerate until well chilled. When ready to serve whisk in 2 cups of sour cream. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with remaining sour cream. Garnish with mint.

Passion Fruit Soup

2 Cups Fresh Orange Juice

2 Cups Pineapple Juice

1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Milk

3/4-Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice

Lemon Zest

1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

2 Cups Pineapple, peeled and diced

2 Cups Mango, peeled, pitted, and diced

1-Cup Passion Fruit

Lemon slices, mint sprigs or berries for garnish.

In a mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and honey and lemon juice. Cover and chill overnight. To serve, uncover and stir soup mixture. Pour into chilled soup bowls. In the center of each bowl, add a layer of pineapple and then mango. Then drizzle the passion fruit on top of the fruit, and in the soup. Garnish with a lemon slice, a sprig or mint or berries.

Chocolate Hazelnut Soup

4-cup half-and-half

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1/2-cup sugar

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup Frangelico

1/2 cup whipping cream, lightly whipped

1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

In a saucepan combine half-and-half, chocolate, and sugar and place over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl, and then whisk in about 1/2 cup o the chocolate mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the soup and simmer, stir frequently, until the soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the liqueurs. Pour a container, tightly cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Pour into a container, tightly cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or as long as 5 days. Remove from the refrigerate about 20 minutes before serving. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with dollop of whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.