In the spirit of full disclosure, I have never been a fan of the cold soup. For whatever reason, it rubbed me the wrong way, so to speak. Soups are supposed to be hot and served in cold weather. Just the notion of a cold soup made me bristle. Well, all that has changed.
I had the recent pleasure of attending a local cooking class with a friend, and lo and behold, I have seen the light. I’ll admit the peer pressure to sample the hard work of other classmates was what hooked me, but admittedly, now I am a proud convert.
In general, there are lots of benefits to preparing soups. Soups are a great way to make the most of some leftovers. They are often made in quantity and then frozen, are loaded with various vegetables and can be a nutritional powerhouse. Cold soups boast additional advantages:
- If you are growing a summer garden, there’s a good chance most of what you need is right outside your door. If not, check out , or or to fill in the blanks.
- Even when factoring in prep time, most are ready in less than 10 minutes.
- They are refreshing on a hot day.
- As an aperitif at a party (try serving in shot glasses or Chinese appetizer spoons), they can be an inventive element of a summer menu.
The soups below are ones I have tried with success. I’ve selected ones with few ingredients to maintain the simplicity of preparation on these hot summer days. But as always, I encourage you to incorporate a flavor or two of your own to add dimension to these suggestions. Enjoy and keep cool this weekend.
Chilled Avocado Soup
- 1 avocado
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 medium sized tomato, diced
- 2 green onions
- 1/4 cup of fresh mint
- 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- Start by dicing 1/3 of the cucumber and chopping into chunks the remaining 2/3 of the cucumber. Set aside the diced cucumber. The remaining ingredients just need to be chopped up a bit before they get added to the blender or food processor.
- Add the water and sour cream to the blender.
- Start by pulsing everything on a low speed at first, then increase it just a bit. Everything needs to get totally chopped up and then made really smooth. This will take about 2 minutes of processing.
- You can chill this soup for up to 3 hours before serving, and then garnish it with the diced cucumbers and chopped tomato after you have placed it into serving bowls.
Thai Basil Peach Soup
- 3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3-4 teaspoons chili paste
- Fistful of chopped Thai basil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Crushed peanuts
- Dip peaches in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then run under cool water to remove skin. Then slice into pieces.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Chill until cold. Garnish with herbs and crushed peanuts before serving.