Cold soups make for a delicious
meal—any time of day
By Laura Langston
IT’S SUMMER and the soup’s on. No, that’s not a
contradiction in terms. Not if we’re talking about
Cold summer soups are refreshing, nutritious
and easy. Most require little (if any) cooking and can
be whipped up quickly in a blender or food processor. They benefit from being prepared ahead, either
the night before they’re needed or early in the day
when the kitchen is still cool. While cold soups are
often featured as an appetizer or dessert (even as
breakfast in some Scandinavian countries), they can
be a mainstay around which to build a summer
meal. Add a loaf of good bread, a wedge of cheese, a
bottle of wine and some fruit for dessert, and head
for the patio table.
To prepare a cold soup that’s ready immediately,
chill your ingredients first—even canned items and
ready-made broth. Never add ice to soups. It not only
dilutes the flavor but reduces the nutritional value.
Chilled soups can be appealingly coarse like a
Spanish gazpacho or velvety smooth like a vichyssoise. For a thicker soup, use the chop setting on
your food processor and process for a short time.
THIS RECIPE RESULTS in a finely chopped soup;
using a lower setting on the food processor will
keep the ingredients chunky.
3 cups V8 juice
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 ripe tomatoes,
1 carrot, peeled and
1 small onion,
1 cucumber, peeled
1 green pepper, seeded
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh basil or
¼ cup olive oil
1 small jalapeño
1 teaspoon salt
or to taste
pepper or to taste
Processing longer on the liquefy setting will result in
a thinner soup.
Cold muffles flavor; many sources recommend
ramping up spicing for cold soups. However, when
cold soup goes into the fridge (a great way to let
those flavors blend), spices tend to become more
pronounced. A good rule of thumb: Start with a
moderate amount of spicing and adjust the flavor
Unless you have pre-chilled your ingredients,
chill the soup for two to 12 hours. Check the consistency before serving: Cold soups sometimes thicken
as they chill. If needed, adjust overly thick soups
with some of the liquid used in the recipe.
Always pre-chill your serving bowls; allow 10 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Finally, don’t forget to garnish. Let imagination
and taste be your guide—try crunchy croutons or
tortilla strips, minced herbs or edible flowers, or a
dollop of sour cream. C
Journalist-turned-novelist Laura Langston lives with
her family in Victoria, British Columbia.
PHOTOS BY LAURA LANGSTON
THE LIME JUICE adds a
nice zing and helps retain
the brilliant green color.
Though the soup can be
refrigerated for several
days, for the best color
retention serve within a
4 ripe avocados
( 1¼ cups), peeled,
pitted and chopped
½ cup lime juice
2 green onions, white
¼ cup cilantro (leaves only,
1 ½ cups sour cream
(nonfat is fine)
3 cups chicken stock
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons
In a food processor, purée
avocado, lime juice,
green onions and cilantro.
Add sour cream and
Pour into a large bowl.
Blend in chicken stock,
salt and Tabasco sauce.
Refrigerate for a minimum
of 2 hours before serving
(unless ingredients are
cold to start).
Adjust seasonings and
check consistency. If it’s
too thick, add a little
Garnish with sour cream,
cilantro or tortilla chips.
Makes 8 cups.
In a food processor, combine 1 cup V8 juice,
lemon juice, garlic, 2 tomatoes and one-third of
the carrot, onion, cucumber, green pepper, parsley
and basil. Process, then pour into a large bowl.
Repeat the process, using 1 cup V8 juice, olive
oil, jalapeño pepper, 1 tomato and one-third of
the remaining vegetables.
Repeat the process, using the last cup of V8 juice
and the remaining tomato and vegetables.
Mix the three batches together. Add salt and
pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Garnish with chopped cucumber or tomato,
croutons, slivered basil or a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 8 cups.
* To easily peel tomatoes, drop in a pot of boiling water
for 1 to 2 minutes, until skin pulls back. Remove from
boiling water, peel and use.
Did you know?
The word “soup” originates
from the Middle English
word “sop”—a dish
originally consisting of
thick stew or soup soaked
up with pieces of bread.