One of my favorite things about winter is spending all day stewing a delicious pot of soup. Soups are great--chok full of veggies, herbs, and spices--they're absolutely delightful. But I get a little sad in the summer--it is just TOO HOT in NC to thoroughly enjoy a bowl of soup...womp womp. But then...I discovered the wonderful world of cold and chilled soups. Did you know you could have fruit soups?! And soups with avocado?? Hold on to your hats...these cold soups will quench your soup thirst without adding to the heat.
1. Cold Thai Cucumber Avocado Soup with Cucumber Relish
Green is good. And with cukes, avos, lime, and fresh cilantro, this soup has enough good to go around.
- 3 medium Kirby cucumbers or 2 large English (hothouse) cucumbers
- 3 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- 2-3 large limes, juiced (1/3 cup) or to taste
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (5.3-ounce) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 1 cup water or as needed
- Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges for garnish
- 1 medium Kirby cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Combine all soup ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Alternately, combine all ingredients in a large deep bowl and process until smooth with an immersion blender. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Soup may thicken as it chills, so add water as needed and adjust seasonings.
Combine relish ingredients in a small bowl. Serve atop soup with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.
Get the full cold thai cucumber avocado soup recipe here.
2. Cold Strawberry Soup
My favorite night on that cruise I took one time was the night where one of the appetizer courses was STRAW. BERRY. SOUP. I love strawberries in all forms, and soup is just so special. I had three servings at dinner that night. #noshame
- 6 cups sliced and hulled strawberries (from 2 quarts)
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably full fat
- 2 TB honey, sugar or maple syrup (or to taste)
- 1 TB cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- Sour cream (optional)
- Mint (optional)
1. Combine the strawberries and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. Turn down the heat and simmer until the strawberries and soft and have begun to lose their color, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Puree the mixture well using an immersion blender OR transfer to a food processor and puree, working in batches as necessary.
4. Stir in yogurt and sweetener. Return soup to stove and place over medium heat
5. Dissolve cornstarch in some cold water and slowly pour it into soup, whisking constantly. (This will thicken the soup so it is not too watery.)
6. Bring soup to a boil, stirring constantly.
7. Boil one minute.
8. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
9. Transfer soup to clean jars or plastic storage containers and refrigerate until chilled.
10. To serve, garnish with soup cream and mint, if desired.
Get the full cold strawberry soup recipe here.
3. Chilled Sweet Corn Soup
Like a corn chowder you can enjoy in the heat. One of the best summertime eats is sweet corn on the cob..but that's so messy. This is way better.
- 4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, removed from cobs (about 6 large ears); do not discard cobs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons fresh green or purple basil, chopped or torn into small pieces, plus more for garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
1. Heat a medium pot over high heat. Add 1/4 cup corn kernels to the dry pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until kernels are slightly charred, about 2 minutes. Remove corn and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in pot. And onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining corn. Using the back of a knife or a large tablespoon, make one last scrape of the corn cobs directly into the pot to collect any remaining kernels and milk from the cobs. Discard cobs. Add 4 cups of water to pot, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 15 or 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat basil and cream over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, in order to infuse the cream with the basil flavor.
4. Remove corn mixture from heat. Using a standing blender or an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in basil-cream, salt and pepper. Chill soup at least one hour and up to 24 hours. Serve cold, topping each bowl with more basil and the reserved corn kernels.
Get the full chilled sweet corn soup here.
4. Gazpacho with Crispy Chickpeas
Gazpacho is the cold soup and this recipe makes things interesting by varying up the texture with crispy, crunchy chickpeas. This one is a definite crowd-pleaser.
- 1 and ½ pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 half a roasted red pepper (from a jar of roasted red peppers in olive oil)
- 3 slices of bread (roughly 3 ounces), torn into pieces (baguette or sourdough are great, and bread that is a couple days old is ideal)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- pinch crushed red pepper, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For serving (any of these are great):
- sliced avocados
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- crumbled feta cheese
- Pan-Fried Crispy Chickpeas with Lime (see recipe in full post)
1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, bread, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper in a blender. Blend until nearly smooth. Add water if the soup seems thick. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with any of the recommendations above or set all of them out so that people can customize their bowl!
Get the full gazpacho and chickpea recipe here.
5. Spicy Cold Cucumber Soup
I feel like cucumbers get a bad rap. "Bland." "Tasteless." But no. Cukes are so fresh and crisp and go SO WELL with chilies. Come on. Give 'em a chance. You won't be disappointed.
- About 4 pounds of long, "English" cucumbers
- 2 small fresh chiles, minced, or dried red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 tablespoons nam pla or nuoc mam (Asian fish sauce), or salt to taste
- Juice of 3 limes
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 cup cooked crabmeat or shrimp chunks (optional)
1. Wash the cucumbers, but don’t peel them. Cut off a piece of one and mince enough to make 1 cup; set aside. Put the rest of the cucumbers through a juicer, or puree in a blender or food processor and wring the resulting pulp in a cheesecloth to extract the juice.
2. Season the juice with the chiles, nam pla, and lime juice. Chill well. (You may prepare the recipe in advance up to this point; refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 days.)
3. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve, garnished with the reserved minced cucumber, mint, cilantro, and crabmeat or shrimp, if using.
Get the full spicy cold cucumber soup recipe here.
6. Cold Zucchini Soup
Zucchini was meant to be more than a zoodle! #ZOUP!
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp. oil or butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste
- 4 medium zucchini
- 3 to 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream, sour cream, or whole milk yogurt (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1. Chop onion. Heat a medium pot over medium high heat and add oil or butter. When the fat is hot, add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, trim and chop the zucchini. Add zucchini and broth to the onion. Raise heat to bring to a boil then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is very tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Working in batches if necessary, whirl soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth (at least 1 minute per batch).
4. Put pureed soup in a large bowl or sealable container. Cover and chill until cold.
5. When ready to serve, stir in cream or yogurt, if using, and add salt to taste (note that soup requires a sprinkle of pepper, if you like.
Get the full cold zucchini soup recipe here.
7. Spicy Mango Ginger Soup
The mango, chilies, and ginger marry together in this soup for a Thai-inspired BANG on your taste buds. You'll be glad it's served cold.
- 1 large mango, peeled and destoned
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1-2 small chilli peppers, minced (or to taste)
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger
Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding a bit more or less water as needed. Chill before serving. Makes two servings.
Get the full spicy mango ginger soup recipe here.
8. Chilled Carrot Soup with Fresh Dill and Chives
Carrots and dill and potatoes OH MY!
- 4 cups (or 1 32-ounce box) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups (about 1 pound) ready-to-use baby carrots
- 1 medium thin-skinned white or Red Bliss potato, scrubbed and quartered
- 1 large handful whole fresh dillweed sprigs (including stems), plus 2 tablespoons chopped dillweed leaves (fine leaves only) for yogurt garnish
- 1 small handful whole fresh chives, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped for yogurt garnish
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2/3 cup regular or low-fat plain (unflavored) yogurt
1. Combine the chicken broth, carrots, and potato in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Lay the whole herbs over the vegetables and bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat so the broth boils gently and cook, uncovered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until the carrots and potato are tender when pierced with a fork. Don’t undercook or the soup will not be as smooth as it should.
2. Set aside until cooled slightly. Using a fork, lift off and discard all the herbs. Using a slotted spoon, remove the carrots to a food processor or blender. When the potato is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin. Add the potato, butter, then enough broth from the saucepan to the vegetables to facilitate processing or blending. Process or blend until completely smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed; a processor will take longer and the soup will not be quite as smooth. Stir the carrot mixture back into the saucepan. Cool slightly, then taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
3. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours before serving. If desired, thin the soup with a little water before serving. To serve, add several teaspoons of the herbed yogurt to the center top of each bowl of soup. Partially swirl in the mixture. If desired, garnish servings with small sprigs of dillweed, and serve.Herbed yogurt garnish: Stir together the yogurt, 2 tablespoons finely chopped dillweed, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives in a small bowl. Taste and add salt as desired. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (so the herbs can infuse the yogurt) and up to 48 hours, if desired.
Get the full chilled carrot soup recipe here.
9. Spicy Chilled Avocado Soup with Dill, Coconut Milk, and Sriracha
I mean, are you really surprised that there's an avocado soup on here? I mean, it's like the quintessential creamy treat and is way better chilled than hot.
- 1 avocado, pitted - 1 large cucumber - 2 stems fresh dill - Juice of 2 limes - ¼ tsp sriracha + more to taste - ¼ tsp sea salt - ½ cup cold water - 1-cup coconut milk (refrigerated milk, not canned) - To garnish: chopped heirloom tomatoes, dill, and freshly ground pepper
1. Simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend on highest speed until smooth and creamy.
2. Taste and season with more sriracha or sea salt if necessary.
3. Serve immediately garnished with chopped cherry tomatoes, a sprig of dill, and fresh cracked pepper, or cover and let chill in the refrigerator.
Get the full spicy chilled avocado soup recipe here.
10. Chilled Asparagus Soup
This soup is served with a LEMON. CREAM. Just do it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, minced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 1 inch lengths
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 medium avocados
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
To garnish (optional):
- Lemon cream (see full post for recipe)
- Parsley or other herb
- Asparagus spears
1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add in the onion and celery and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the asparagus, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Sautee for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and allow to come to room temperature.
2. Add the soup, avocado, and lemon juice to a high powered blender. Blend until creamy. You might need to blend in batches depending on the size of your blender. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with lemon cream, parsley, and asparagus spears if desired.
Get the full chilled asparagus soup recipe here.
SHARE with your fellow soup-lovers so they don't have to suffer through the hot months without it!