HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How 'bout some COOL soups for warmer weather?

It's unusually warm in my neck of the woods--and maybe yours, too. What are your favorite COOL soup recipes? I don't have any yet--thus my request.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good girl and good morning! Veggo asked for vicchysoise (?sp) the other day but nothing got posted. Maybe your more general post will garner something.

    18 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I didn't see that request, but HEY, VEGGO--this one's for you! As I was scouting around for cold soups, I found this one from Cooking Light. And, though I haven't made it yet, I've had good luck with other recipes from that magazine.


      When I do make it, I'll post back with feedback...if anyone else tries this recipe, please do the same. Thanks!

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Okeydoke, I set off for the store this afternoon with every intention of making the vichyssoise, but they had no leeks today. Undaunted, I made the above recipe with sweet onions instead of leeks. It's very tasty. I added a bit more salt--am guessing the lower sodium is due to the Cooking Light factor. Rather than 1/2 and 1/2, I used mostly light cream and some heavy cream as we had it in the fridge already. We ate the soup lukewarm since it was freshly made. Tomorrow I'll try it chilled.

        1. re: kattyeyes

          kattyeyes and c oliver, thanks for keeping me in mind. This recipe is just what I'm looking for. I hope I can find the leeks OK.
          The asparagus soup below sounds delicious, too. I've hit the mother lode here as my thread goes begging.
          I have a good recipe for gazpacho if anyone wants one.

          1. re: Veggo

            Cool! I agree re the asparagus soup. I have to compare it to my mom's--she makes a really great one, too...but I don't think she adds cinnamon or white wine and both interest me (so, thanks, todao)!

            I'd love your gazpacho recipe. Our little "summer preview" up here is ending, but it won't be gone for long, so no time like the present to get ready!

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Pete's gazpacho

              1 red onion
              3 tomatoes
              1 cucumber
              1/2 yellow pepper
              1 clove garlic
              31/2 cups low sodium tomato juice
              1/2 tsp sugar
              1/4 cup olive oil
              1/4 cup white wine vinegar
              dice all veggies, combine all ingredients. Chill.
              Serve in chilled bowls with croutons and maybe avocado slices if you have a ripe Haas around.

          2. re: kattyeyes

            Made this recipe again with a large Vidalia onion and three measured cups of russet potatoes. Veggo, try again? Pictures for inspiration. I think it's especially nice lukewarm. I should snip the chives shorter next time. It looks like a bowl of Morse code. ;)

            1. re: kattyeyes

              I crave that right now!!! When you say "three measured cups," is that cooked or raw? x,c

          3. re: kattyeyes

            Kattyeyes, I made the vichysoisse with your recipe yesteday, with mixed results. I used 3 large Idaho potatoes that maybe were too large or too many, because I needed almost 32 ounces of chicken broth to get the liquid to the top of the potatoes, and a little of the leek started to burn to the pan when I got the mixture to a boil. I got most of the burned pieces out. All in all, it didn't have the whitish potato creaminess I was hoping for, which was probably my fault.

            1. re: Veggo

              Sorry I found this so late, Veg. I actually threw the potatoes into the scale in the produce section as I wasn't sure I would guess their weight correctly. That might have tipped the scales (ahem!) in my favor for the recipe working out. If you ever get up to CT, I would be happy to make a batch for you. ;) I'll have to try it with leeks next time I make it. Maybe try again with the produce scale and see if it works out better. Magic 8 ball says, "ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES."

              1. re: kattyeyes

                I'm trying the cold asparagus soup next. I had joint pain in my fingers for 2 weeks after dicing 3 Idaho potatoes the size of boxing gloves with a dull knife, even before my vichysoisse flunked.
                As for my first (and only) Magic 8 ball, I was about 9 or 10 and I broke it open with a wrench to see what was inside and I drank some of the liquid and they took me to the emergency room. I thought they were wasting their time, and mine.

              2. re: Veggo

                Hi again, almost a year later! I made this soup for the third time tonight, documented step-by-step with photos and added a few new twists.

                Though this is still based on the Cooking Light recipe, I made the following changes:
                - UNpeeled Yukon Golds--"the Cadillac of potatoes" (so says Tyler Florence and I agree!) replace peeled russets
                - one large sweet onion instead of leeks

                I will ever after think of this as Cadillac Vichyssoise. It's even better than I remember. And to avoid the look of Morse code in my bowl, I used kitchen shears to snip the chives. Much, much nicer.

                Tomorrow I will buy some bacon to crumble over the top for my next serving. It may not be Cooking Light, but it sure is Cookin' Good! ;)

                OK, Veggo. Your turn to try again and report back. Game on!

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Here's the Julia Child recipe which is even a little lighter:


                  Why onions instead of leeks?

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Why not? (sideways moron smiling icon here)

                    Actually, the first time I made the recipe, I couldn't find leeks. And I really liked the way it came out, so I just stuck with it. But I like it even better using Yukon Golds than baking potatoes.

                    Have you tried the recipe with a sweet onion? It will be even better with bacon...because why? "Everybody loves bacon." That's right. :)


                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Poor humor below -so sorry. I will try a batch with the Yukon Gold's. I think their size is more consistent, and my error last time was using oversized Idaho's so my proportions were off, and I didn't know how much potatoes thicken up liquids. A leek-onion combo might work? Fresh ingredients are all available in FL now and we are getting 80+ degree days, so cold soup season is at long last here and vichysoisse is still a favorite.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        That's OK, Charlie Brown. I think you'll love it with the Yukon Golds. The key is to dice and measure...three cups and you're golden.

                        I know leeks or leek-onion combos are classic. Definitely try that if they're available and you're seeking "the classic." I only stuck with what I know (sweet onion) because I liked how it came out when I couldn't find leeks last year...not to mention I almost always have a sweet onion in the pantry, so it's just convenient. Your turn to experiment now. Have fun!

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        You might want to try this old(er) recipe of Caralien's. Talk about easy and good!


                        What "sweet onion" did you use? It's almost Vidalia season which is the only one for me. I've never had a problem finding leeks and do prefer the flavor but MIGHT consider a Vidalia. Our weather is so cool yearround that cool soups is never a need to have here.

                        Edit: It's not an overall preference for leeks but rather specific. For instance, I wouldn't probably grill leeks to put atop a burger.

                    2. re: kattyeyes

                      What is this, Lucy holding the football again?

              3. I do chilled dessert soups - some based on yogurt, some on sparkling water or clear soda or even wine. I particularly like White Gazpacho. And melon soups with white wine base. And berry/yogurt soups.

                Try vicchyssoise made from the pirple Peruvian potatoes for an interestingly different look.

                1. Creamy Asparagus Soup

                  Serves 2 - 3

                  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                  1 ½ pounds asparagus cut into three inch lengths
                  2 1/2 cups chicken stock
                  Salt and pepper to taste
                  3 scallions (white portions only) finely chopped
                  2 garlic cloves, minced
                  2 tsp oregano
                  1 tsp. cinnamon
                  1/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or similar)
                  ½ cup heavy cream
                  2 teaspoons lemon juice

                  Note: Be careful in matching the wine with the asparagus. A somewhat dry white wine works best. To test the match-up, cook a few spears of your asparagus ahead of time and taste it with a sip of the white wine to make certain it’s a good match.

                  Clean the asparagus, snap off the tough end of the stem and cut into pieces.
                  Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and brown it lightly (be careful not to burn it) over medium-high heat.
                  Add the asparagus and stir to coat with the butter
                  Add salt and pepper
                  Add ½ cup of the chicken stock
                  Cover and cook over medium low heat until asparagus is fork tender
                  Add the scallions, garlic, cinnamon. oregano and remainder of chicken stock
                  Bring mixture to simmer and add the wine.
                  Reduce heat to low and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for about twenty to thirty minutes.
                  Puree the soup in a blender (small batches works best)
                  Return to the soup pot, stir in the cream and lemon juice.
                  Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes to heat through
                  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
                  Can be served hot or cold.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: todao

                    Very nice. I never thought of eating cream of asparagus cold, but now that you mention it, why not! :) Thanks!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Creamed asparagus chilled is great, I second the melon soups, a cold tomato soup is amazing as well. I did an avacado soup too also mentioned, but have to admit, don't like the chilled soups too much but have made them and they are very good. Just not my favorite, The melon soups are probably my favorite if anything.

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        I remember a rhubarb soup recipe from the rhubarb thread. I'd like to try that, too.

                        EDIT: It wasn't the rhubarb thread--it was real life! Apparently, my mom made rhubarb soup last year and how she did so without bringing any here is still puzzling me! ;) I will ask her for the recipe.

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          I love rhubard, I remember picking pieces off my plant and dipping it in sugar and eating it right from the garden. I still love rhubard

                  2. Finally got around to making the tasty borscht (great hot or cold) that Warsaw Cafe in Philadelphia serves and has conveniently posted their recipe.


                    1. I have a few of these that I do, but one good trick is to make a sorbet to garnish the soup, like a tomato sorbet with gazpacho. The gazpacho is always improvised based on what looks good in the market.

                      I like to make an avocado soup with chicken stock, avocados, creme fraiche, coriander, cumin, and a little cayenne, salt and pepper to taste, all pureed, and then I'll make an avocado sorbet using avocado pureed with simple syrup, and a similar spice mixture. As I recall, there's a good (very rich with two or three forms of cream) recipe for this in _The Four Seasons Cookbook_.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                        I love this idea--I am crazy about avocados. Here's a recipe I found that's kinda similar and sounds good:

                        I picture a little toast island with some crab on top for the soup. Yum! The sorbet sounds quite nice, too. Have you ever made one with corn? I keep seeing recipes for corn ice cream.

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          I've been meaning to try a corn ice cream, but haven't done it yet. Maybe this summer.

                          Yes, that recipe looks like as good a starting point as any. You can inflect it in different ways. It's nice as a side with grilled meat.

                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                            Thanks for the suggestions. I look forward to trying the avocado soup--for sure, the different inflections are part of the fun.

                      2. AHA! I found the rhubarb soup recipe I've been reading about on this board. Claudia Fleming's chilled rhubarb soup is the fourth entry down on this link.


                        Found a chilled rhubarb and strawberry soup recipe and ran it by my mom. She said it's very similar to her recipe (which is still MIA) except it adds Grand Marnier and mascarpone, which makes this version even nicer, IMO:

                        Hoping our local stand has rhubarb so we can get cookin'!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          Wow, Claudia Fleming's rhubarb soup sounds so simple and so good!

                        2. My favorite cold soup is a Watercress Soup. Unfortunately I haven't found a good recipe for one, so maybe someone else can chime in.... please!!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ESNY

                            You might search the NYTimes, which had a recipe from a three-star French rest. some years ago. It produced great soup, but what a pain! Took two days, pushing through a strainer, etc., etc.

                            1. re: ESNY

                              ESNY, I found it, but this one is served warm: Taillevent's Cream of Watercress Soup With Caviar (paraphrased)

                              For soup base;
                              3 T unsalted butter
                              1 lb leeks, white and light green parts, halved, rinsed, and thinly sliced
                              1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
                              Pinch of fine sea salt
                              1 qt. chicken stock
                              2 C heavy cream or milk

                              For finishing;
                              3 T coarse sea salt
                              1 lb. watercress, stems removed, leaves rinsed
                              1 C heavy cream
                              Juice of 1 lemon
                              fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
                              2 T caviar

                              1. For soup base: melt butter in large stockpot. Over med. heat, stir in leeks, onion, and salt. Cover and cook over med. heat about 3 min. until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add chicken stock and cream, raise heat to med. high, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low, uncovered, for 30 min.
                              2. Puree soup until emulsified and smooth. Return to stockpot and set over med. high heat. When gently boiling, skim off impurities. Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hrs.
                              3. Finishing: Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Boil 4 qts. water, add coarse sea salt and watercress, blanch until soft and wilted, about 2-3 min. Immediately drain watercress and plunge it into ice water. Drain, but don't squeeze out all water. Puree watercress, place in a fine-mesh sieve, press out and discard liquid.
                              4. When ready to serve, heat soup base over low heat. Whip cream to stiff peaks. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add watercress puree to warmed soup and blend until uniform. Ladle soup into shallow bowls, place a scoop whipped cream in center of each bowl, and top with a small spoon of caviar.

                            2. One of my favorite meals from childhood (and I make it still) is cold sour cherry soup with cheese blintzes and tuna fish. We eat this soup as an appetizer.

                              For 4 people:
                              1 lb. frozen bag of sour cherries (if all you can find are sweet, reduce sugar)
                              1 tsp almond flavoring
                              3 cups water
                              1/2 cup sugar (taste to adjust sweetness)
                              Sour cream (FF, regular, low fat doesn't matter)

                              Simmer water, sugar and almond flavoring in sauce pan for 10 min till sugar is completely dissolved. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add fruit, simmer another 5-7 min. Cool mixture completely, then refrigerate at least 12 hours. Just before serving, add 1 cup sour cream, mix well and serve. If you really want to be decadent, you can substitute Frangelico, Amarreto or other fruit type liquor for almond flavoring.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                Diane, this sounds blissful...and even better with cheese blintzes! And the alcoholic substitutions sound good, too (though I am happy enough with almond extract). Thank you!

                              2. I make a dessert soup, Strawberry Champagne Soup. It's got OJ, champagne, maybe a little lemon juice (haven't looked at the recipe in a while. I serve it in wide, pink soup bowls. Before serving I add a little scoop of vanilla icecream in the center and sprinkle with crushed pistachios. It's good and pretty and easy. I better take a look at that soon if it ever warms up again!

                                1. Do a Bittman search at the NYT website, he has great avocado soup recipe.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                    normalheightsfoodie, very good call on the avocado soup. It is SO creamy and rich--like an avocado mousse. I used 1% Over the Moon--I can't imagine this with whole milk. It would be out-of-this-world creamy...it's pretty insane just as it is and I thank you kindly for tonight's appetizer. :)

                                  2. Thanks for the direction, normalheights--score!

                                    Here are three Bittman recipes for cold soups:
                                    Ultra-fast avocado soup
                                    Watermelon and rosemary soup
                                    Rhubarb-orange soup


                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      I made the watermelon-rosemary soup, but it was so thin I ended up serving it as a cocktail. It tastes great, but isn't particularly soup-y.

                                      1. re: GilaB

                                        Good to know--thanks. I could go for a watermelon cocktail!

                                      2. re: kattyeyes

                                        If you prepare the Avo ahead of time, I refrigerate it and cover the material with wax paper. I press the paper directly on top of the avocado.

                                      3. Here is a chilled avocado soup that is to die for. It has grilled corn pureed into it. The grilled corn flavor with it is elusive and fabulous. This is the best summer soup recipe we've made by a long shot. Served it to many people who have loved it. (Will have to wait for good corn though.)


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: karykat

                                          Holy smokes--that sounds divine! Cannot wait to try this summer!!! Thank you! :)

                                        2. I love Gourmet's recipe for Cold Curried Coconut Carrot Soup, although the name's a bit of a mouthful: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                          You can make pretty much any Cream of [x] Soup as a chilled soup. Cold dulls the tastebuds a bit, so you might want to increase the salt and other flavorings for a soup you would normally make hot.

                                          1. I make a cantaloupe soup with prosciutto and a splash of balsamic syrup / reduced balsamic that's pretty refreshing.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: jeremyn

                                              Could you give a few more details on your recipe, please? Sounds intriguing, but I imagine there's a little more to it than just those 3 ingredients!

                                              1. re: weezycom

                                                It's really simple. Think prosciutto wrapped melon with balsamic, something of a staple, and soup-ify it.

                                                I blend up a cantaloupe or two with a bit of salt (and sometimes pepper), and there's the soup. Depending on the cantaloupe, sometimes it needs a bit of sugar, or sometime I'll add a splash of brandy. Then I sprinkle on either sauteed chunks of prosciutto or thin dices (think penny sized, paper thin) of uncooked prosciutto and drizzle a reduced balsamic on top. Full slices of prosciutto are more attractive but also more difficult to eat. For the balsamic, I like the texture when it's reduced to about a third of bottle volume.

                                                It's tasty, but be sure to put it in small bowls as it can taste cloyingly sweet after a small amount.

                                            2. Love cucumber soup. Avocado soup with a crabmeat garnish.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: bayoucook

                                                Add crabmeat to anything and what could be bad :)

                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                  My feelings exactly. But it seems to meld with that soup sooooo good!

                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                    crab, cucumber, mango, etc mix any of those and you sold me.

                                                    Thinking of that no one mentioned a chilled mango soup which is very sweet like melon, I think with a little cream, some spice and some fresh garnish it may be very good, even with a zip of a little spice. Ever heard of one, I haven't googled I should, just too busy, checking emails in between cleaning my kitchen. I was a good girl ... made 15 pots of cream of zucchini soup for the salvation army yesterday. I donate once a month or every other if I can but my friend had 1 bushel of zucchini ... he sort of over planted. I told him 6-7 plants ... he did 30. Lots of zucchini so I made soup, Publix was great and donated my local market as well as Sams did some donating 40 bucks is all I shelled out and 15 gallons. Pretty cool and I helped serve too. I was fun. But now my kitchen looks like a war zone, lol.

                                                    Anyways, I may have to do some research on mango soup, might just be interesting, a little red pepper, pineapple, thai type flavors, mint, could be the new soup rave, :)

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                                      I just got home with new clothing to replace my curried goat spill attire, and a new blender for the vichysoisse. (Notice how I connect the dots -:). I wanted to initiate the blender with mango daiquiries and watch the Rays whip the Sox, but the mangos...you could shoot them out of a cannon and sink a carrier. I wimped out for strawberries.
                                                      Rays just won, gotta go.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Love it!
                                                        Yeah, still early, found a couple that may just put a dent, but only one was good for dinner.
                                                        Go Rays!

                                              2. Jfood's Gazpacho -

                                                2 cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded using a teaspoon
                                                3 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
                                                8 plum tomatoes, seeds removed
                                                2 red onions or one Vidalia onion
                                                6 garlic cloves, minced
                                                1 46-ounce can Sacramento tomato juice (6 cups) This brand is very important
                                                1/2 cup white wine vinegar
                                                1/2 cup good olive oil
                                                1 tablespoon kosher salt
                                                1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
                                                3-5 shots Frank’s hot sauce

                                                1. Cut each of the vegetables into ¼“ cubes
                                                2. Place each vegetable, after it is chopped, into a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and Hot Sauce.
                                                3. Mix well and chill before serving.
                                                4. Jfood stores in large Ball Mason Jar

                                                The flavors will develop overnight and a few days if it lasts.

                                                1. This avocado soup is lovely - it gets made in the blender:


                                                    1. Dumbkegsky "Cold Borscht" (Holodnik or Little Cold One)

                                                      Young beets, stems, and leaves
                                                      Fresh Dill
                                                      Salt & pepper

                                                      Cook beets, stems and leaves until tender, peel beets and dice all.
                                                      When cool mix w/ butter milk (or sour cream) and stock. Chill.
                                                      When ready to serve place half a hot, peeled potato in center of bowl.
                                                      Garnish w/ chopped dill.
                                                      This soup has such a lovely magenta color with the hot potato "iceberg" in the center..


                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        i could go for this right now. Thanks for the recipe. The cold and hot together - yum!

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                          Come to think of it, a very nice Polish restaurant that used to be on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley ages ago served this, with tiny cold boiled bay shrimp instead of the tater. Heap tasty.