You know gazpacho, but may not be familiar with some of the other ways the world makes chilled soup. So check out some of the best cold soup recipes for the summer.
Summer is not exactly peak season. Not that there’s ever a bad time for a flaming bowl of ramen or pho (and in fact, steaming bowls of soup can actually be cooling, contradictory as it seems). But if you fancy more refreshing meals, you can still eat a bowl of gazpacho or borscht – or one of the world’s other chilled soups!
Let’s get this cold soup train rolling with an Eastern European favorite: borscht. Although there are many varieties of borscht, we are talking about the particularly creamy and cool summer version with beetroot and dill. This borscht recipe also includes lemon juice, scallion and yogurt or sour cream, creating a light, vegetable-forward soup that you can enjoy as a lighter entree served with crispy bread or as an accompaniment.
Polish Chlodnik is similar but sharper with the addition of radishes, kefir and sauerkraut or jam juice. Both the Polish recipe and this Lithuanian Šaltibarščiai recipe contain cucumbers and should be served with dill and halved hard-boiled eggs. If you have an affinity for a particular Eastern European country, you can probably find another regional version of this cold beet soup to try!
Although Lisa Simpson “made enough gazpacho for everyone,” her family barbecue did not go too well. Do not get hung up on how the citizens of Springfield perceive this chilled tomato soup; try it yourself with this authentic Spanish Gazpacho recipe. Ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, onions and green peppers are mixed with oil, vinegar, spices and also bread to create a sour and slightly sour taste.
For a fresh and summery, albeit not so authentic twist, try our watermelon Gazpacho recipe. (Use the watermelon peel for a pickled garnish; delicious and helps fight food waste!) And if you want to go even further away from the classic, try our Gazpacho recipe for cucumber and green grapes, which removes the tomatoes completely. It is good in any permutation.
Let’s head back east for another type of Russian soup with this Okroshka recipe. With ham, potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, this is a solid soup that does not require added butter or oil. Like the borscht recipes, this soup uses dill and sour ingredients – especially vinegar and sour cream. And as with most recipes, you can replace Greek yogurt with sour cream with a little less fat and a little more protein.
Conversely, you can embrace fat, calories and everything creamy and wonderful with a French style of cold soup using Julia Childs Vichyssoise recipe. Potatoes and leeks are made more delicious with chives and cream, all mixed smooth and served chilled or at room temperature. Remember to be careful when mixing hot liquids; if using a standing blender, add a little soup at a time and hold a towel over the top!
From the Miyazaki region of Japan, try this next cold soup, which is served over hot rice that highlights a mix of temperatures and textures. This recipe for Hiyashijiru (chilled cucumber-sesame soup) uses some ingredients that you may be a little familiar with, including dashi, shiso and shichimi. Dashi is a Japanese stock that can be made using this recipe or purchased in powder form at Asian grocery stores or online. Shiso is a spicy, cinnamon-like plant used in Asian cooking, and it is also more likely to be found in an Asian grocery store. As for shichimi, you can make this blend of spices yourself using our Shichimi Togarashi recipe.
Finally, we head to South America for a soup that can be served hot or cold. Coconut milk makes this Brazilian black bean soup recipe creamy and delicious when mixed with onions, garlic, jalapeño and black bean base. Garnish with cotija cheese, green onions and cilantro and you have a soup that works well all year round!