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CHILL OUT – Cold Soups

Hot weather calls for cold soup!

One of my absolute favorite things to eat on a sweltering summer day is a refreshing silky smooth cold vegetable soup. Like many people, I first became a fan of this style of soup by way of Gazpacho, Spain’s famous chilled tomato soup. In fact, for the longest time, a yellow gazpacho was the only cold soup I made. Once I started shopping regularly at the Farmer’s Market, however, all that gorgeous produce inspired me to experiment, and now I make all kinds of cold soups.

Like gazpacho, cold soups rely on a blender for texture, but their flavors and colors span the spectrum: from a pale and delicate fennel and cucumber combination to a spicy poblano puree to a deeply hued sweet beet soup.

I like to serve these soups as a first course or in smaller portions as an hors d’oeuvre; the bright flavors and bracing cold excite the appetite, even on the sultirest of summer days.

Roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and sweet smoked paprika give this Chilled Tomato and Red Pepper Soup an intriguing smoky flavor. An easy-to-make olive puree adds a briny note. If you prefer, you can use store-bought black olive tapenade, preferably a variety without anchovies.

“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long gone days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.”
~ Hal Borland

Chilled Tomato and Red Pepper Soup Photo