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Seriously Chill Summer Soups

Seriously Chill Summer Soups

When it’s too hot to chew a salad, we reach for soup — its chilled hot-weather iteration, that is. Enjoy summer’s bounty straight from the fridge with these cold-on-purpose, smooth soup recipes.

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Chilled Spanish-Style Tomato Soup

This sophisticated recipe is a close cousin of gazpacho, a Spanish soup usually made with a tomato base. A slew of protein- and flavor-rich garnishes make it a delicious meal.

Don’t overlook the importance of the accompaniments. Eggs, tuna, cured meats, and other protein-rich items make the otherwise light-bodied soup a satisfying meal. Set everything out in separate dishes, and let everyone pick and choose among the offerings.

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1 small clove garlic, smashed
3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into 2-inch pieces
1/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Assorted accompaniments, such as chopped hard-cooked eggs, tuna in olive oil, sliced ham or prosciutto, Spanish olives, Marcona almonds, manchego cheese, and crackers

1. Make a 1/4-inch-deep X in bottom of each tomato with the tip of a paring knife, then core. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water and let stand until cool. Drain; peel and quarter tomatoes.

2. Transfer tomatoes to a blender along with garlic, bread, almonds, vinegar, and oil. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Serve soup with accompaniments.

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Golden Gazpacho

So sunny, this gazpacho is made from yellow tomatoes, squash, bell pepper, and carrot juice, and is a refreshing change from the traditional version.

2 pounds yellow heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium yellow squash (6 ounces), halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large chunks
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup carrot juice (fresh or canned)
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt
1 avocado
1 small red heirloom tomato

Cook’s Note
For the best color and flavor, choose deep yellow heirlooms and golden yellow squash for this take on gazpacho.

1. In a food processor or blender, working in batches, combine yellow tomatoes, onion, squash, bell pepper, garlic, carrot juice, vinegar, and oil. Pulse until finely pureed. Season with salt. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.

2. At serving time, halve, pit, and dice the avocado. Core and dice the red tomato. Serve soup in chilled bowls topped with avocado and tomato.

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Watermelon Gazpacho

From unconventional to full-on fruity: Slurp a savory-sweet gazpacho of watermelon or peach.

Watermelons range in weight from fifteen to thirty-five pounds, depending on the variety; three pounds will produce about six cups of chopped fruit. Discard the seeds before using.

5 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped watermelon, plus 1 cup finely chopped
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, minced

1. Combine 5 cups watermelon and the cranberry juice in the jar of a blender, and puree until mixture is smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a large bowl or plastic storage container, discarding pulp. You should have 3 cups strained liquid.

2. Add cucumber, celery, bell pepper, onion, herbs, lime juice, vinegar, jalapeno, and remaining cup chopped melon to watermelon liquid, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until soup is well chilled, at least 1 hour. Serve, or store in refrigerator up to 1 day.

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Sweet Red Pepper-Beet Soup

Sauteed shallots and goat cheese complement earthy beets and red peppers. For an extra-sharp spin on the same combination, try a borscht with yogurt and caraway seeds (and a side of fresh dill pickles).

This tangy chilled puree gets its striking color from earthy beets and red bell peppers. They’re cooked with shallots and then blended into a silken soup. Goat cheese, a traditional partner to beets, lends creaminess. A squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt heighten the flavors.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 red bell peppers (1 1/2 pounds), stems, ribs, and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 red beets (1 pound), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup water
3 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent and tender, about 4 minutes. Add bell peppers and beets, and stir to coat. Add water and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover partially, and reduce heat. Simmer until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.

2. Remove saucepan from heat, and let cool slightly. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate until chilled, up to overnight.

3. Divide soup evenly among 6 to 8 bowls. Sprinkle each with goat cheese. Season with pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.

Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

This two-ingredient soup makes a simple, satisfying side for chicken or fish. Got more time on your hands? Try our Cucumber-Buttermilk Gazpacho, which could stand as a meal in itself.

This no-cook soup gets its creamy texture from buttermilk; diced cucumbers add a refreshing crunch. It’s wonderful served with grilled chicken or fish.

2 cucumbers (14 ounces total), peeled, halved, and seeded, plus thin cucumber rounds, for serving
2 cups buttermilk
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Cook’s Note
Refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.

1. Roughly chop 1 1/2 cucumbers; dice remaining cucumber half. Place roughly chopped cucumber in a blender with buttermilk and blend until smooth, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among four bowls and stir in diced cucumber. To serve, top with cucumber rounds, a drizzle of oil, and more pepper, if desired.

Cold Southwestern Corn and Shrimp Soup

Sweet corn is the star of this hearty southwestern soup — or lend your ears an exotic edge with jalapeno, lime, and coconut milk.

4 packages (10 ounces each) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 or 3 limes)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch cayenne, pepper
1 pound cooked frozen shrimp, thawed, roughly chopped, reserving 4 whole shrimp
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced

1. In a blender, working in two batches, puree corn, yogurt, milk, lime juice, coriander, and cayenne. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Stir in chopped shrimp, and season with salt and pepper.

2. Serve garnished with tomatoes, avocado, and reserved whole shrimp.

Avocado, Radish, and Basil Soup

Three iconic warm-weather flavors unite in one cold-served bowl.

2 chilled avocados (7 to 8 ounces each)
3 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups basil leaves, plus more, julienned, for serving
3 trimmed large radishes
Freshly ground pepper
Radish leaves, julienned (optional)

1. Scoop flesh from avocados and puree with water, salt, and basil in a blender until smooth. Add radishes, and pulse until chunky, about 4 times. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Stir well, and garnish with julienned radish and basil leaves if desired before serving.

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