I’m so into chilled soups this year. I love the pale, creamy colors and the inventive little garnishes. They’re the perfect way to start a summer meal, and for me they become increasingly alluring as the temperatures rise. They can be made with a milk, cream, creme fraiche, sour cream, or buttermilk base, but I think tangy yogurt is especially refreshing. And lots of chilled soups, especially fruit based recipes, are made without any dairy at all. The one absolute is that they need to be served icy cold, and since these delicate soups are meant to stimulate the appetite, not be a meal in themselves, I like to ladle them into drinking glasses, mugs, or tiny bowls. But if you’re not into first courses, these soups can be the summer equivalent of a cup of soup and sandwich lunch combo.
Almost any fruit or vegetable that you can think of can be made into a chilled soup. And although gazpacho, which I love, is an exception, I think most cold soups are served smoothly pureed. Carrots, potatoes, beets, winter or summer squash, asparagus, and tomato all can be made into wonderful hot weather first courses. On the slightly more exotic side are cherry, avocado, melon, and other fruit based soups. Some are new-age-y concoctions, but most cultures have a few chilled soups in their culinary tradition. This one has an Indian influence.
Chilled Cauliflower and Yogurt Soup
- small sprigs of cilantro or parsley
- toasted sliced almonds
- small edible blossoms, optional
- Remove the core from the cauliflower and chop it into florets. Heat the olive oil in a heavy stock pot and saute the cauliflower, apple, onion, ginger, curry powder and cardamom for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Cover and steam for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Uncover and add the stock. Bring up to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Turn off the heat and add the milk, yogurt, and salt.
- Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.
- Push the soup through a mesh sieve, using the back of a large spoon to force as much of the soup through as possible. Discard any leftover solids. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings.
- Chill the soup until cold.
- Serve ice cold in small bowls or glasses, garnished with the herbs, almonds, and an edible blossom.
recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma
Follow my CHILLED SOUPS Pinterest board for lots more inspiration. It’s one of my favorites!