Made with fresh fruits and vegetables, cold soups are nutritious, light summer fare. Vichyssoise, gazpacho, and other chilled soups refresh the palate.
As a child, I always looked forward to summer when my mother would prepare wonderful cold soups. I still remember being sent to the garden to get fresh chives to garnish the vichyssoise! Back then cold soups were very unusual, and most of my friends had never heard of them.
Today most people have heard of cold soups or enjoyed them. I hope the following recipes will make you a fan of cold soups during the summer months—or any time you feel like it.
Cold soups are quick and easy to prepare, and most don’t require a heat source (oven, microwave, or stove top) for their preparation. Equipped with a food processor or blender you can make a cold soup in as little as 10 minutes.
Effects of heat on appetite
When the weather is hot and muggy, our appetite decreases. When we eat, our body temperature rises due to the work involved in digesting food. Instinctively, our body sends us messages to limit our food intake. Because of the loss of fluids through sweating, we drink more water and other liquids to rehydrate, which may also contribute to appetite suppression.
Benefits of cold soup
Cold soup provides the nutrients our body craves. Cold soups are made with fresh fruits and vegetables, and are processed quickly, leaving vitamins and nutrients intact to provide healthy fuel for our body. Soups also help replenish the fluids we lose through sweating and help rehydrate our body.
The following recipes include the vichyssoise recipe from my childhood, which is the only cold soup included that requires cooking. All other soups are cold preparation only.
- Strawberry Soup
- Chilled Cucumber Soup
- Vichyssoise (Cold Leek and Potato Soup)
- Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
- Traditional Gazpacho
Always wash fruit and veggies before cutting into them. Even if you buy organic produce, bacteria can be transferred from the skin into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable when you cut through it with a knife.
Cold soup tips
- Use seasonal ingredients for the best flavour.
- Buy the freshest and ripest produce you can find, as most soups are not cooked. Raw flavours need to be intense.
- Use more herbs and seasoning than you would in a hot soup, as cold temperature dulls their flavour.
- Chill the soup until it is really cold and flavours have developed, at least a few hours before serving time.
- Chill serving bowls to help keep soup cold.
- Add garnishes that complement the flavour, not compete with it.