From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
Things are still quite smokey here. The fire is about 40 miles north of here and depending on the wind we can get a heavy covering of thick smoke. Between the heat and the smoke, I have not felt like cooking. So I was glad cold soups were on the menu this week. I can get behind that.
I have quite few cold soups on the blog. If you click here on Cold Soups, you’ll find all of them. Tonight I’ll feature a Creamy Gazpacho and Cucumber Tomato Soup.
6 medium, ripe tomatoes, cored
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded (I used an English cucumber)
1 medium green bell pepper , halved, cored and seeded
6 green onions, roots removed
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 small serrano chile , stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 small jalapeno, stemmed and halved lenghthwise
1/4 green chili, stemmed and halved
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 slice thick white bread, crusted removed, broken in pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Dash of limejuice
2 cups water or salt-free vegetable broth
2 tbsp finely minced chives or cilantro (I did a little mix of the two)
Ground black pepper
Chop 5 of the tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and all but two of the onions into large pieces (you’ll be blending, so no need to go all crazy here) and place in large bowl. Add garlic, chilies, and 1 teaspoon salt; toss until well combined. Set aside for at least 1 hour.
Finely dice remaining tomato, cucumber, and pepper, place vegetables in medium bowl. Mince remaining onion and add to diced vegetables. Toss with 1/4 tsp salt and transfer to a strainer set over medium bowl. Set aside 1 hour.
Transfer drained finely diced vegetables back to medium bowl, cover tightly and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid (there should be about ¼ cup) and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
Transfer roughly chopped vegetables and water to a blender and blend until smooth, you may have to do this in two batches. Slowly drizzle in oil while blending, blend until smooth. You can run the entire thing through a strainer (use the back of spoon to press through) if you want it to be completely smooth. Full disclosure, I neither peel or seed my tomatoes and as you can imagine, I didn’t strain my soup.
Stir vinegar, minced herb, limejuice, and half of diced vegetables into soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate (you can do this overnight) to chill completely and develop flavors. Serve with remaining diced vegetables as garnish.
For the Cucumber Tomato Cold Soup, click here. It’s a very pretty soup that makes a great first course at your next BBQ.
Every time I eat cold soup I always think it would taste better if it were warm.
A friend of mine and I went out for (unintentionally) really bad Chinese this evening. That picture of a bowl of stuff is not sitting well…
Go back to Russia.
That gazpacho looks really good; I’m going down to Florida to visit GF in a couple of weeks and think I’ll make it while I’m there.
Also want to try my hand at a Hungarian cold sour cherry soup – never had it, just love sour cherries (and their all-too-short season is almost upon us).
Just Some Fuckhead
I’m sorry but I just can’t get warmed up about cold soup.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Bah-dum-dump.
Koreans are very good with cold soup. I’ll hunt for a good one here.
Is it really cold soup or is it room temperature soup?
And to me the best is beet borscht.
Adore gazpacho. I add some bread cubes to mine to thicken.
Hey guys, the link to the Cucumber Tomato Soup is broken. Here is the correct link:
What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cucumber Tomato Soup
And now for something completely different.
I love Gazpacho. And not to be a purist but I would just say that the spanish version would do without the broth. Just fresh veggies, oil, bread, water. No lemon either.
@Yutsano: That sounds really good and I have some soba noodles that need to be used up. Yum.
Sarah, Proud and Tall
My favorite cold soup is a green pea soup. I stole the recipe from Jason Atherton’s Maze cookbook, although I have the edition which credits Atherton as the author from before the time Shouty Fucking Gordon’s ego got in the way and it became “Gordon Fucking Ramsay’s Maze”. Nevertheless, it’s a very good cookbook.
Sauté a chopped onion in butter in a saucepan. Once it is translucent but not browned tip in two cups of chicken or vegetable stock and two cups of milk. Bring back to the boil and then add two or three cups of peas (frozen baby peas are best unless you pick your own peas). Bring back to the boil again, then remove from the heat. Cool a little then blend everything in a blender. Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold with some crispy croutons and a few sprigs of dill or mint. Bright green, lovely and refreshing and it tastes intensely of fresh peas. You can also serve it hot, but the flavour will become less intense and more starchy the longer you heat it.
This also works with fresh corn, although you need to simmer the corn for a little bit longer.
@Yutsano: That looks terrific – the addition of the pear is a really interesting touch.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
OT: I went from LGF to Wonkette and found this: Barack tucks Michelle in at night. As someone said in the comments, when’s the last time a president made other husbands look bad.
@cathyx: You know if that’s the case, you might want to go the next step and actually cook it then chill it. Cooking (heat) brings out flavors and sweetens some of the stronger flavors like onions and hot peppers.
You get the chilled goodness with the deeper flavors of a cooked soup.
There is no wrong. It’s what tastes good to you. Despite what some ‘purists’ say to the contrary.
@TaMara (BHF): @lacp: Maangchi is all kinds of awesome. She tells you the more exotic ingredients and also where you can get them. Plus she’s a hoot to watch.
i’m going to to out on a limb here and recommend this white gazpacho
Cold. You keep it in the refrigerator until just before serving. Gazpacho is fantastic in the summer.
pseudonymous in nc
@Valdivia: Agreed. Simplicity and incredibly fresh ingredients (apart from the bread).
I like cold soups a lot: watercress, carrot and orange, beetroot and goat’s cheese.
@Valdivia: There better be ajo. It ain’t gazpacho without ajo.
@eldorado: I’m glad you linked. Now see I’d never have thought of that or even heard of it before. It sounds refreshing. Which is what cold soup should be.
@TaMara (BHF): It sounds very close to the original Andalusian recipe, which is pretty much what Valdiva described.
@Valdivia: Hey, I just read your comment….my later comment referring to purists was not a dig at you! Honest. :-) Sheesh, I’m all flustered about that now. It was more a dig at America’s Test Kitchen which annoyed me to no end today with their blather.
I do like a splash of lemon or lime because it ‘brightens’ tomato based soups. Whatever brightens means, that’s the best way I can explain it.
I learned about Norwegian fruit soup in Michigan, where (sour) ‘pie cherries’ were the main ingredient. My Norwegian-born mother-in-law said you drank it warm in the winter, or with ice cream, and cold in the summer, with sour cream stirred in.
@lacp: Do you have a recipe? My friends have a cherry tree that has gone crazy this year and are looking for new things to do with them.
@eldorado: As I understand it, “white gazpacho” (bread, olive oil, garlic, almonds, fruit garnish) goes back at least as far as being a staple dish of the Roman empire. The tomato-based version we’re used to obviously didn’t happen until those new-fangled “love apples” were brought back by Spanish conquistadores a couple centureis later.
@TaMara (BHF): My mom got a source for pie cherries and she’s going to get some as soon as they’re ready. I’m planning on nicking me a few and playing around with them myself.
@Yutsano: They made me a pie, it was awesome.
@TaMara (BHF): Mom is planning to freeze hers so we can have real good cherry pie this year for Thanksgiving. Of course she’ll make a couple before then too.
@TaMara (BHF): Not a cook myself, but this Danish Cherry Soup is the basic idea I remember — cherries, sugar, a little lemon, and cinnamon and/or cardoman. Very refreshing when chilled on a hot day, with or without sour cream swirled in.
My Michigander friends also freeze pitted sour cherries in pint containers, so as to have pie/soup ingredients all year round — for those of Scandinavian descent, especially for the midwinter “Xmas” family celebration.
ETA: Link — http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Danish-Cherry-Soup-_kirseb%C3%A6rsuppe_-Recipezaar
@Anne Laurie: Link no work. U fix please.
@TaMara (BHF): if you have the time, grilling the vegetables – including the tomatoes – with a bit of olive oil and the letting them cool before making the soup brings out a pretty amazing flavor
I just picked a couple gallons of Northstar cherries from our two trees & spent hours pitting & freezing them. They are sour pie cherries so not great just off the tree but marvelous in pies or this dandy, refreshing soup for a hot summer day.
If you want to do this with canned cherries I’d save the cherries out & only add them toward the end of the cooking since they are already cooked a bit.
1 lb sour red cherries
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 c cold water
1 tblsp white sugar
2 tblsp lemon juice (about the juice from 1 lemon)
1 cup sour cream
I pit & freeze cherries once thawed I put them in medium saucepan.
In a small mixing bowl combine cornstarch and water. Mix well and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is disolved then remove from heat and chill. When cool, blend in the sour cream. Chill well to serve.
I’ve never made (or even had) white gazpacho… it’s been on the list for years, but this summer I plan to finally do it.
The best (regular) gazpacho I’ve made is from Kenji at Serious Eats, using perfect farmers’ market tomatoes while down at the beach last year. The trick is “cryo-blanching” (i.e. freezing) the veggies to burst up the cells and extract more flavorful liquid. It’s dyn-o-mite, but is a little fussy since it really requires straining. The only thing I think I will try differently this summer is to add a little chipotle en adobo for some smokey spiciness.
At some point I would like to try some cold berry soups too… maybe that will be another summer cooking project for when the blueberries come in season up in Maine.