3 Cold Soups for Hot Days

These cold summer soups are packed with fresh garden flavors and require no cooking! We’re sharing the recipes for three soups today, including a classic tomato gazpacho, a tangy cucumber yogurt-based soup, and a delicious ajo blanco, made with bread, soaked almonds, and green grapes. Serve these chilled soups as a simple meal with bread, or incorporate them into a seasonal spread with salads, fresh fruit, and maybe some cheese and olives.

CLASSIC SUMMER GAZPACHO with FETA CREMA

With such a simple ingredients list, it’s amazing how delicious this soup is! The key is, of course, really good tomatoes. The feta crema is optional, but balances some of the sweetness and takes the presentation up a notch.

serves 4

recipe by bon appetit

INGREDIENTS

for the feta crema:

  • 2 oz. feta, preferably French sheep’s milk, crumbled (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. whole milk

for the soup:

  • ½ English hothouse cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped (2-3 cups)
  • ½ large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 lb. very ripe red tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into ½-inch wedges, 3 tbsp. seeds reserved
  • ½ large shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • flaky sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. bold extra virgin olive oil, like Arbosana, plus more for serving
  • quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped chives, and grilled or toasted country-style bread, for serving

METHOD

  1. Make the feta crema: Mash feta into sour cream in a small bowl until mostly smooth, then whisk in milk. Set aside.
  2. Make the gazpacho: Add the cucumber and bell pepper to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and toss with shallot, garlic, 2 tbsp. vinegar, and 1 tbsp. salt. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to let the flavors meld.
  3. Transfer the vegetables, along with any accumulated juices, to a blender. Add 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and purée on medium speed until smooth. Season with salt and vinegar, if desired. Cover and chill until cool, about 1 hour. (Or overnight; this soup can be make one day in advance.)
  4. To serve, divide gazpacho among bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes, chives, and tomato seeds. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt. Serve with bread alongside.

CUCUMBER YOGURT SOUP with GRILLED SHRIMP

This soup takes only minutes to prepare, can be made in advance, and is easily doubled. How great is that?! The addition of skewered shrimp will make this a substantial meal, but is by no means required – the soup stands on its own.

serves 4

recipe adapted from food & wine

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. Persian or English cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup good extra-virgin olive oil, like Arbequina, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill, plus sprigs for serving
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 lb. medium fresh shrimp, deveined

METHOD

  1. Make the soup: In a blender, purée the cucumbers, yogurt, lemon juice and garlic on medium until smooth. With the blender running, gradually add the 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil until incorporated.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the chopped dill, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes.
  3. While the soup is chilling, prepare the shrimp: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.
  4. Toss the shrimp in salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil to coat. Thread an 8”-inch skewer through the thickest part of 5-6 pieces of shrimp. (If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes before threading so they don’t burn on the grill.)
  5. Lightly oil the grill or pan, and cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, until opaque.
  6. Ladle the chilled soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and dill sprigs. Serve with grilled shrimp skewers.

AJO BLANCO

Ajo blanco, sometimes called white gazpacho, is one of the original cold soups, originating in Spain pre-gazpacho! This soup is creamy, nutty, and a touch sweet. Use a textured white loaf for the bread, and don’t be shy with the olive oil. Although it will be slightly less rich, this soup can also be made dairy-free by substituting almond milk in place of whole.

serves 4

recipe by bon appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 green apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 cups crustless 1” cubes day-old white country bread
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • ½ cup whole blanched almonds
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • kosher salt
  • ¾ cup peppery extra-virgin olive oil, like Miller’s Blend, plus more for serving
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, plus more for serving
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, sliced

METHOD

  1. Combine apple, garlic, bread, grapes, blanched almonds, milk, and 2 cups water in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, up to 1 day.
  2. Transfer soup base to a blender and purée, adding water little by little if too thick, until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add ¾ cup oil and 3 tbsp. vinegar. Blend until soup is emulsified. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Cover and chill until very cold, about 2 hours. (Soup can be made one day in advance.)
  3. Divide soup among bowls. Top with toasted almonds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Looking for more summer recipes? Check out our Recipes page here for dozens of recipes featuring extra virgin olive oil!