The Big Chill

By Carolyn Stine September 4, 2019 

Love a steaming bowl of soup, but don't want to bring the heat in your already-sizzling summer kitchen? Yeah, we’ve run into this dilemma before too. Sometimes we think back wistfully to those winter Sundays when we would prep a big pot of soup that we could live off of for days. Not only was it top-notch for our meal prep game, but we could throw in so much of our favorite seasonal produce and also make use of any extra bits and pieces leftover in the fridge from the week. Once warm weather hits, we normally say “sayonara” to soup, with the exception of a tomato gazpacho that we see pop up on a restaurant menu here or there. Well, we’re about to blow that winter-only soup concept right out of the water. Not only can soup be a summer staple, but it one of the most refreshing and effortless items to whip up and serve in your own kitchen. Here’s how to max out on chilled summer soups that feel fresh, are a cinch to prepare, and as always, are ultimate crowd-pleasers when entertaining.

 

Chilled Spinach, Chive, and Yogurt Soup with Grilled Scallions

Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt is one of our favorite ingredients to cook with, and makes any recipe feel decadent while adding in a healthy dose of probiotic cultures. Greek yogurt forms the cooling base of this velvety soup, which also provides your daily dose of greens via fresh spinach, and a summery flavor via onion-y chives. But it’s the charred scallions that really steal the show - we recommend grilling up extra and pairing them with your eggs the next morning, too.

 

Cantaloupe Gazpacho

The best new trifecta of summer flavors? It’s gotta be the combo of cantaloupe, cucumber, and red onion. These summer staples form the base of this refreshing gazpacho, which gets served with fresh mint and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. We love serving this in shot glasses during cocktail hour, or as a plated first course for a seated meal. 

 

Chilled Ramen

Until recently, we’ve always associated a big, steaming bowl of ramen soup with winter, preferably consumed when curled up by a fireplace. But after stumbling upon this inventive chilled version of the Japanese classic, we were forever changed. The fresh veggies stay bright and crunchy, and surprising additions such as grapefruit zest, homemade Sichuan chili paste, and the freedom to customize your toppings make this both a great meal for two, and a best bet for entertaining.

 

Sour Cherry Soup with Fennel

We love a cherry cobbler, cherry pie, even cherry crumble when they are in season during the summer solstice. But a cherry soup? Now that was new to us. This soup is actually a Hungarian heritage recipe, and the unusual combo of the cherries with anise-y fennel and tangy buttermilk makes for an irresistible flavor profile. 

 

Cucumber Soup with Salt-Roasted Shrimp

While the humble cucumber always adds a bright accent to what you’re serving, it is seldom the star of the show. In this chilled soup, cucumber gets punched up with fresh ginger, lime juice, cilantro and chili oil for a show-stopping soup. When you add in that salty roasted shrimp and some creamy sliced avocado, this soup becomes a meal in itself. 

 

Chilled Avocado Soup

First things first, we adore avocado in all forms. But as the piece de resistance in this creamy, brightly colored soup? We just couldn’t resist. You whip this soup up in the blender (how easy is that?) and the addition of sparkling water adds an unexpected lightness. Fresh basil and crunchy radishes add the perfect finishing touches as your garnish. 

 

Corn Soup with Lobster

You know what feels like summer to us? A lobster boil with steaming corn on the cob on the side. Those flavors get replicated and punched up in this incredibly satisfying chilled summer soup. Fresh shallots, celery leaves, and tarragon add depth of flavor, and we love that you can repurpose the corn cobs and lobster shells to make stock later on (no waste!).

 

Zucchini and Mint Gazpacho

Sometimes it feels like there’s more zucchini around than we could ever imagine using up in the summer months. This seasonal staple feels just right when blended ‘til smooth with a garden’s worth of fresh herbs, and some fresh bread blended right into the base adds hearty thickness. When topped with a crunchy radish salsa, you’ll want to snap a photo for the ‘Gram, too.

 

Creamy Red Pepper Soup

Although red peppers are a key ingredient in traditional gazpacho, we often find that they get lost in the crowd, overwhelmed by the more powerful tomato and red onion notes. Welp, in this chilled red pepper soup, that pepper is the superstar. Fresh rosemary adds the perfect herbal accent, and a hint of heavy cream (you can sub with non-dairy mylk too!) will bring all of that creamy richness, too. 

 

Golden Beet Gazpacho

Like a perfectly balanced update on the classic borscht, this golden beet gazpacho is like sunshine in a bowl. The fresh beets really are the main attraction here, with subtle accents from shallots, lemon juice, and bright sherry vinegar. If you can find chioggia beets (also known as candy cane beets) at your local market, definitely snap those up for the garnish - they are visually stunning and also huge on flavor.

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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