Cold Soup, a No-Sweat Summer Solution

I love summer, but it’s hot outside. I love cooking, but it’s hot in my kitchen when the oven’s on. What’s a girl to do?

Some days, the answer is takeout, or a salad. But other days, I really want to be in the kitchen futzing around for a while. And for now, that means cold soup.

For many, the world of cold soup begins and ends with gazpacho. There’s nothing wrong with that gazpacho is delicious and healthy and stands up to endless tinkering. Do you want it spicy or not? Chunky or pureed? Which herbs do you want to play with? What veggies look freshest at the market this week?

One thing to be careful of, especially in restaurants, is that gazpacho often contains bread. Originally, this was a way for households to use up stale bread – and you won’t necessarily see the bread in the soup, so make a point to ask before you order. At home, you can pretty-well cut the bread from any recipe (or use our gluten-free grocery guide to find a safe version to sub in). I like this recipe from Ina Garten as a starter, if you want something quick and pureed. If you want to go more traditional, Alton Brown gets into some fresh tomatoes. Neither of these recipes has bread in it, which is also nice.

And when gazpacho gets boring? That’s when the fun begins:

Normally I like to point you to specific recipes, but I think this whole collection of cold soups from Country Living is fantastic. The Grilled Romaine soup and the Lobster-Fennel soup in particular struck my fancy and are naturally gluten-free.

Borscht isn’t the most beautiful word, but it’s in fact quite refreshing. I like this cold borscht recipe from the NY Times for a number of reasons, not least of which is its use of pre-cooked beets (less work for me if I don’t feel like roasting and peeling).

The world of fruit soups – which could serve honorably as breakfast, dessert, or starter – is vast. I’d recommend starting somewhere between the Baton Rouge Advocate’s peach soup and Eating Well’s stone-fruit soup.

Last but not least, let us pay our dues to vichyssoise, the most difficult soup to spell and a very fancy way to say “potatoes and leeks”. Whether you serve it hot or cold, pureed or chunky, vegetarian or not, it’s a classic. So who better to listen to for a recipe than Julia Child?

What cold, gluten-free soups do you like to eat in the summertime? What do you serve them with?

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