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May 21, 2009 10:38 AM

Cold soup with hot garnish-how does this sound?

Consider this: a cold English pea soup, very simple--a little shallot, a bit of mint, some stock and cream, then pureed . It's to be served cold in shallow soup plates as a starter. I'm contemplating a garnish of steamed shrimp—2 or 3 medium shrimp, very hot out of the steamer, placed in a pile in the middle of the cold soup, served immediately.

What do you think? Anybody tried something like this? Will it be an exciting contrast or a crash and burn when the hot and cold interact?

Other ideas welcome. I really want to make the soup, but am not wedded to this garnish.

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  1. well, it sounds delicious, but I fear that the shrimp would transfer the heat too quickly and both would end up mediocre-ly lukewarm - especially if the soup is spread thin in a shallow bowl.

    I say make the soup a day ahead of time (it will be better the second day anyway) and give it a try with one bowl - leave it for a minute or two and see what time has done to the temperatures - even served right away it will take awhile to be eaten.

    1. The shrimp as a garnish sound good, I believe I would prefer them to be chilled instead of hot.
      I'm thinking a hot garnish would create a little weird warm spot in an otherwise delightful cold starter...although I know a cold garnish like rouille on hot soup works.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Samalicious

        I too think it sounds delicious if the shrimp were cold, for the same reason as Samalicious.

      2. I think 45 seconds after you combine the two the temperatures will equalize at blah. Keep the soup cold but serve the hot shrimp seperately on the side.