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March 21, 2011

Cold soup: like or dislike?

"Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is the rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had he only come a little earlier, he could have gotten it while it was still hot."

So says humorist Fran Lebowitz, author of Metropolitan Life and Social Studies (now sold in a single volume, The Fran Lebowitz Reader).

How do you feel about cold soup? Like or dislike? Do you have a favorite?


Posted by: Kalynskitchen | March 21, 2011 at 04:40 PM

The only cold soup I've had is gazpacho, which I love in the summer when the tomatoes are at their peak. In general I think I like hot soup best, but I am intrigued by the idea of trying more cold soups.

Posted by: pam | March 21, 2011 at 08:22 PM

Dislike. I made a cold cucumber soup once. It was creepy.

Posted by: susan g | March 21, 2011 at 09:49 PM

Usually cold soups feel like something to drink rather than slurp. The exception, my all time favorite, is your watermelon gazpacho!

Posted by: Panya | March 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM

"Cold soup" is not soup, it's a smoothie. Soup is supposed to be hot.

Posted by: marisa | March 22, 2011 at 06:36 AM

I'm on the fence here because I haven't met many cold soups that I like. One exception is ginger-mango soup... but yeah that sounds like a smoothie.

Posted by: Lu Hamlin | March 22, 2011 at 07:01 AM

Like you, I would be perfectly happy eating soup every day of the year. You have to take in mind the weather in order to decide to make a hot soup or a cold soup.
In the summertime, nothing is better than making a lovely cold zucchini soup. The color alone is to dye for- a green that is not too dark or to pale and a delicious flavor. I saute some onions and garlic into a pot in a small amount of olive oil. I then add my zucchini and cook it on low until it starts to soften. I then pour in 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth and cook for about 15 minutes on a medium simmer. I then allow the soup to cool probably for about 1/2 to 1 hour. I will then mix in Fage fat free yogurt and using my emersion blender I puree all the soup. Chill for an hour or so and sprinkle some minced chives on top. The versital thing about this soup is that it can then be made in cooler weather by pouring in some half and half, whirr it up and serve it warm. You can use this same method for any vegetable, green beans, red cabbage, pea, carrot, and season accordinglly and enjoy them either hot or cold.

Posted by: marsha | March 22, 2011 at 07:31 AM

I had a cold strawberry soup that was really great. But that was more of a dessert. As for savory cold soups they just do not sound appealing.

Posted by: Judy | March 22, 2011 at 08:11 AM

"Cold soup" sounds like a contradiction in terms. Soup should be warm and comforting. I particularly dislike gazpacho - the lumpy texture just seems wrong when it's cold. I vaguely recall a delicious, smooth cold fruit soup (peach?) I had once, but that still gets boring after a few spoonfuls.

Posted by: Mary-Rose Waldron | March 22, 2011 at 08:58 AM

Your recent posting, 'Red Pepper Soup with lime,' is outstanding right from the fridge.

Posted by: Mike | March 22, 2011 at 08:58 AM

I love cold soups in the summertime. I like to use cucumber or avocado and I always enjoy a good gazpacho.

Posted by: KL Pereira | March 22, 2011 at 09:09 AM

Cold soup cools the fiery flames of summer heat and comforts as well! Bryant Tyler has a wonderful recipe for chilled heirloom tomato soup with cucumber salsa in his awesome book "Vegan Soul Kitchen". I'm going to make a big batch as soon as I can get my hands on heirlooms (won't summer be here soon?). I will let you know how it goes! Thanks for the fun post!

Posted by: Teresa | March 22, 2011 at 01:51 PM

I've had some really good cold soups that I loved, namely, cucumber, strawberry, and various gazpacho recipes. Since I live in the South where we have "HHH" weather (hazy/hot/humid) a good deal of the year, I welcome cold soups for those light meals when you don't feel like eating, let alone cooking.

Posted by: CJ McD | March 22, 2011 at 07:07 PM

I chuckled when I read the comments about cold soup being a smoothie.

Smoothies are a fairly new food in the scheme of things. Before there were smoothies, there were cold soups.

I think cold soups are wonderful when seasonally appropriate and the right ingredients are pulled together. Called them what you may, but spring and summer soups are fantastic.

Posted by: Lydia | March 22, 2011 at 07:19 PM

Everyone: strong opinions! I love it. Is cold soup a smoothie, or is a smoothie a cold soup? We have raised some serious philosophical issues here. And then there's this (which Mary-Rose raised, above): how about a hot soup as a cold leftover?

Keep those comments coming!

Posted by: Aimee @ Simple Bites | March 23, 2011 at 07:32 PM

Thumbs up - arms up and waving for cold soup actually.

Your cantaloupe is a favorite, as is yellow tomato.

Posted by: Jorge | May 21, 2011 at 09:20 AM

What better way to cool down during summer than with a cold soup. I was introduced to colds soups as a youngster while traveling through Spain and trying their famous Gazpacho. Today I have over 250 Gazpacho recipes and while not all of them are easy to prepare and serve because of ingredients and temperature needed, the rewards are most gratifying. My nieces and nephews have been introduced to this concept, they love it so much that they are now introducing their own children to the pleasures and surprises of Cold Soups.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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