Delicious & Satisfying Chilled Soups for Summer

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Food & Cooking |


For summer entertaining, a cold soup is a welcome start to the meal. They are quick to make, loaded with fresh produce and can often be made well in advance so you can enjoy your guests and the beautiful weather instead of standing over a hot stove. Read on to discover delicious chilled soups for summer!

A cold avocado soup with stinging nettle and fresh mint pesto.

Summer soup ideas: delightful chilled soups

How do you feel about chilled soups? Do they seem sort of strange? I get it. Or at least I used to get it. Now I’m hooked. And I’m not talking about making Gazpacho — I’ve already done that. Remember? We’re talking about avocado, cucumber and watermelon. Yes, watermelon.

For summer entertaining a cold soup is a welcome start to the meal. They are quick to make, loaded with fresh produce and can often be made well in advance so you can enjoy your guests and the beautiful weather instead of standing over a hot stove.

Vegetable based cold soups

The first cold soup I made this season was a simple avocado soup that I topped with a pesto made from stinging nettles and fresh mint.

For the soup, I blended an avocado along with roughly chopped shallot, chicken stock (vegetable stock is fine here too), a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper. I finished it off with olive oil and the pesto. You could also garnish the soup with chilled shrimp or crab meat, fresh herbs, diced onion, crumbled feta or garlic croutons.

We often think of soups as being the perfect solution to warm us on cold nights. It’s comfort food. But a cold soup comforts in a different sort of way. It’s satisfying, light and refreshing.

Other vegetables such as fresh peas, corn, zucchini or fennel can be pan or oven roasted then blended along with garlic, herbs and stock and then chilled before serving. The flavor is deep and rich while still being suitable for a hot summer evening.

Check out this chilled zucchini soup with walnuts and basil. Or this spring pea soup.

Fruit based cold soups

Have you ever thought of serving a cold fruit soup for dessert? Imagine a sweet strawberry soup with a float of mascarpone or whipped cream in the center. Perhaps a touch of cinnamon to warm ever so slightly as the summer sets after a full meal. Or a simple raspberry soup with a swirl of yogurt and a bit of honey. I’d take that for breakfast, maybe with a sprinkling of deeply toasted granola on top. Or this chilled ginger and cantaloupe soup anytime of the day.

I love the idea of this tropical fruit soup from David Lebovitz. Here a spiced soup based is made with cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean, lemon grass and ginger. That, along with a few other ingredients are brought to a simmer with water and then allowed to steep before straining. The soup base is then chilled before it gets poured over fresh fruit like oranges, strawberries, mango and kiwi. David finishes the soup with passion fruit.

Fruit soups can also lean towards the savory. Like this peach soup that is garnished with basil, red bell pepper and croutons. Or this Thai inspired watermelon soup. 

Have you made cold soups before? If you have what is your favorite combination? I’m always looking for new ideas. What about a fruit soup for dessert?