Three 3-Minute Chilled Soups

I fell in love on my honeymoon. With a cold soup. Yes, I was already head over heels with a tall engineering student, but a chilled Hungarian sour cherry soup, enjoyed on a shady Budapest courtyard with the aforementioned tall student, also captured my heart.

That memorable lunch left an impression on me – on my palate – and I’ve never turned down a cold soup since.

Cold Soup. I know, it’s almost a contradiction. Isn’t soup supposed to be a comforting dish, warming us down to our very toes? Simmered on a back burner on a chilly autumn day? If you’re not familiar with the summer version of soup, it certainly can sound off-putting, but it is actually a marvelously refreshing way to enjoy summer’s produce.

Here’s what you may not know about cold soups:

  • They are quick & easy to make. Got a blender? Good. You’ll have cold soup in minutes.
  • They pack a wallop of flavor.  Think ripe, seasonal fruit scooped up with a spoon.
  • They provide valuable opportunities to get the kids to eat their vegetables. Who is to know what may be blended up in a soup?
  • They’re delicious. Absolutely, positively.

Three Chilled Soup Recipes

Here are three of my favorite recipes for chilled soups. They are a little more exciting than traditional cold soups like gazpacho and vichyssoise, but they are no more complicated to make. In fact, I think they are even simpler.

Try them and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with at least one recipe – but more likely all three….

Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup

This quick tomato soup requires just a bowl and a blender and can be kept in the fridge for no-fuss light lunches all week long. No stove to clean and minimal dishes? I’ll take that.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large, ripe yellow tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  1. Quarter tomatoes and toss in a bowl with sugar and vinegar. Cover and marinade 1-3 hours.
  2. Puree in a blender and pass through a fine sieve. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve chilled with your choice of garnish.

Entertaining Tip: Chill a tray of shot glasses. Pour soup into glasses and serve to guests to sip or ‘shoot’ for a refreshing summer appetizer.

Garnish Options:

  • mini-cucumbers
  • chives, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes
  • croutons
  • diced avocado
  • crumbled feta

Note: This soup can keep up to three days in the fridge. Be sure to shake, whisk or blend well before serving as it will separate when it sits.

Quick Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Lime & Basil

My children’s personal favorite! Many thanks to Lydia of Soup Chick for the inspiration.

  • 3 cups cubed melon
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp ground (powdered) ginger
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or honey (optional)
  • 2-3 mint leaves (optional, but delicious)
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp water if needed to thin the soup to desired consistency

Combine all ingredients except water in a blender, and puree until smooth. Adjust consistency with water, if needed. Serve chilled.

Note: This soup can keep up to three days in the fridge. Be sure to shake, whisk or blend well before serving as it will separate when it sits.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint & Yogurt

  • 1 small English cucumber, washed & seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives (or green onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, washed and chopped (or cilantro)
  • 1 cup organic milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • salt and pepper

optional garnish:

  • yogurt
  • sliced cucumber
  • chives
  1. In a food processor or blender, puree cucumber and fresh herbs with a splash of the milk.
  2. Add remainder of milk and sour cream and blend until fairly smooth.
  3. Stir in yogurt; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Make Ahead: Soup may keep, well covered, for up to 2 days.
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Cold soup (which was once deemed only for expensive tasting menus at chi-chi restaurants and scoffed at by macho men) is making a comeback!

Yay or Nay? Would you be willing to give chilled soup a try?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Karen Robert says:

    Yummy, I just made a chilled cucumber soup the other day which was similar, but I like how you added the parsley and lime. I will give the other two a try as well.
    Thanks,

  2. I have never tried chilled soup before. The other day my friend was saying she wanted to make chilled minted pea soup…I’m not sure what to make of that, but I’d be willing to give it a try. I’d probably go for the cantaloupe or cucumber first. Or maybe a chilled berry soup? That would be like dessert!

    • Oh, we did a cold pea soup in a restaurant I worked at once–with fresh shelled peas, it was unsurpassed!
      Strawberry soup is great too. Give it a try! The herbs (basil, etc) and fresh cracked pepper make it seem less ‘dessert-like’.

  3. I’ve had a minted pea soup topped with lemon creme fraiche (served cold) and it’s delicious. I’ve also tried a cold cucumber soup which I enjoyed. To be honest, I haven’t tried many others but we’re currently making a cold cantaloupe and champagne soup at my catering company and it’s incredibly popular.

  4. Love the simplicity of the yellow tomato recipe. My tomatoes are just starting to come in; bring on the (cold) soup!

  5. I’m going to hire you to make and photograph all of my soups — yours looks so much more beautiful! I love cold soups, too.

  6. Karen Robert says:

    My friend just made an avocado chocolate mousse. Agave nectar, cocoa powder and avocado. I am missing a few ingredients I think, but it was actually very good. You couldn’t taste the avocado at all. It is a more versatile food than I thought.

  7. I love chilled soups. Love them! Yellow tomato looks so beautiful. If only we had tomatoes like that here in Denver. Actually, if only we had ANY good tomatoes in Denver. Tomatoes make me want to move to California …or Canada 🙂

  8. These soups look great. I want to go buy the ingredients and cook one for supper tonight. Am I missing an easy way to print just the recipes from your site?

    • The Print Recipe link is now at the bottom of the post, just under the cucumber soup recipe. Sorry about that!! (oh and it does print the whole post, not just recipes…)

      Enjoy!!

  9. These look great! Love the flavor combinations! Great, great post!

  10. Yay! I’ve never tried cold soup before, but it sounds like a fun adventure!

  11. I think we will be trying the cantaloupe soup. My son adores cantaloupe!

  12. I think I’ll have to try that cantaloupe soup…

    I make a cold curried corn soup. http://bit.ly/dpa3EU It takes longer than 3 minutes, but it’s delish!

  13. I love cold soups!! Mmmm….thanks for the recipes!

  14. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says:

    Never tried ’em before, but the way you rave about them has me itching for a chance! Thanks for the inspiration! Now to fnd some cantloupe and limes…

  15. I love these simple recipes with the choices of toppings. Sometimes toppings can make or break the soup! When our market starts overflowing with tomatoes, I’m giving that one a try. I’m not sure my husband would go for cold soup, but it looks like it would pair wonderfully with grilled chicken.

  16. What a nice selection of summer chilled soup. As soon as the weather improves I will definitely try all of them 😀

  17. Wow, Aimee! The cantaloupe soup sounds so amazing and you kids like it?!?! I featured it on my blog and I’m very excited to test this one out!

    Cheers
    Serena
    http://seriouslysoupy.blogspot.com/2010/07/cool-and-chilled-soup-links.html

  18. These chilled soups look wonderful – how many servings for each recipe?

  19. I made the cantaloupe soup two nights ago and served it last night to some special friends. I increased all the ingredients by 50% and found that it served 5 fairly generously. It was a tremendous hit and I was so happy to be able to say that the basil and mint were from our garden.

  20. Has anyone ever tried watermelon soup? It’s delicious!!! I wonder if just a bit of mint would be good in it …

  21. Hi,
    I am keen to try the Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Lime & Basil ,
    May i ask any specific melon or yogurt ? 🙂
    Thanks 😀

  22. The chilled soups sound delicious. I just wish they stated the number of portions each makes!

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