These best-served-cold dishes will have you begging to spoon them.
Americans tend to think of soup as a comfort food, and it is. But it can be just as comforting when the mercury’s spiking. How? Just serve it cold. Europe has embraced gazpacho and borsht for a while, but chilled soups go well beyond tomato and beet-based broths.
“It’s a great light starter, and so easy to make. You don’t need to turn on an oven or stove,” says Chanie Nayman, a recipe developer and editor of Kosher.com. “And for a BBQ, there’s nothing like cold soup shooters.” The key, she says, is to start with fruits or vegetables that are by nature watery: tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers. “You don’t want to have to add a lot of water because that dilutes the flavor,” Nayman says.
Although you can splash in some rosé or alcoholic spirit to give it some depth, Nayman likes to reserve some chunks of whatever produce she’s using as a base—blueberries, pineapple, peas—to add to the puree so people aren’t, as she puts it, “wondering why they’re not drinking this with a straw.” Then, she says, “Go crazy with garnishes.” If you’ve used any citrus, grate some zest on top. Herbs can add a savory twist and look pretty, too. Mint bumps up the flavor of a lot of fruits, and basil pairs surprisingly well with watermelon,” she says. Other favorites in her arsenal include toasted coconut, and candied or toasted nuts or seeds.
Want to give it a whirl? Break out your blender and try these (all adapted from kosher.com):
In a blender, combine 6 cups cubed honeydew with 1 1/2 pitted, peeled Haas avocados, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 3/4 teaspoon salt and puree. Garnish with diced cucumber, honeydew, avocado, and mint
In a blender, combine 2 cups watermelon with 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint. Puree and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over remaining watermelon and garnish with more mint if desired.
In a blender or food processor, combine 4 peeled, seeded, chopped cucumbers with 3 teaspoons salt, 4 cups whole-milk plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, 4 tablespoons olive oil, and black pepper, to taste. Puree but leave some chunks. To serve, garnish with dill, radish slices, and chopped cucumbers.
Want even more inspiration? Check out our Healthy Gazpacho Recipes.