Guest post: 5 cold soup recipes to beat the heat | The Heart Chef

[Today’s guest writer is Simona Terron, founder, The Heart Chef. Her previous guest series of love letters to her kitten Laurie was so loved by readers, we had to invite her for more!]

By Simona Terron

Cold soups are what I turn to when it’s sweltering hot outside and the face-melting heat gives my appetite a bit of a downturn. If you’re also struggling with being hungry but not really wanting to eat anything heavy, cold soups can be a real boon.

What are cold soups?

No, they’re not hot soups that got cold, those taste terrible if not eaten hot! Cold soups are supposed to be eaten at room temperature, if not slightly chilled, and can be refreshing when the weather robs you of your appetite.

They’re easy to make, you can use ingredients that boost your immunity, and they can be delicious at the same time. What’s not to love?

So here are five yummy cold soup recipes I highly recommend for this crazy blistering summer: Gazpacho, Melon & Kiwi, Cucumber & Mint, Carrot & Ginger, Watermelon & Feta.

1. Gazpacho

A cold soup made of raw blended vegetables. A classic of Spanish cuisine, it actually originated in the south of Andalusia but is enjoyed all throughout Spain and Portugal. Personally, I prefer the flavour of the version which uses roasted peppers. The one thing that prevents this soup from tasting like a vegetable juice is garlic.

Garlic paste, sea salt and white pepper season this soup and of course, a generous splash of olive oil makes it all go down smoothly. You can add whatever you like, some basil leaves for a bit of herby goodness, some chopped celery in the bowl for crunchy freshness or even a spoon of heavy cream, to make it smooth on the palate. There are no rules except one, enjoy it as cold as you can serve it.

Fun fact: The Romans used to smash up garlic in a mortar and pestle with stale bread, salt and olive oil, which would create a base for the gazpacho. Anyone cool enough to try that? Let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients:

(Makes one bowl)

  • 2-3 peppers or capsicum (can be any colour) cut into broad strips
  • 6 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and pureed
  • 4-5 medium or 3 large cucumbers, deseeded & diced
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. Roast peppers either on the grill or in the oven, place them still warm in a bowl and cover with a towel. After a few minutes, lift off towel, the peppers will be cool and the skins will rub off in one piece.
  2. Discard skins, and throw the peppers into the blender along with the diced cucumber and peeled & pureed tomatoes.
  3. Add garlic paste, sea salt and white pepper, olive oil and blend till smooth. A few chunks are ok as they add a nice texture to the soup.
  4. In the bowl, you can add 4 or 5 freshly torn basil leaves or a tablespoon of finely chopped celery or even a tablespoon of some heavy cream (dairy or cashew) and serve it as cold as you can.

2. Melon & Kiwi Soup

Cold soup Melon Kiwi_Kimber Pin_Unsplash
Melon & Kiwi Soup/ Kimber Pin via Unsplash

Now this one is a bit fruity of course, but there’s no reason you can’t sit down at the table and daintily eat a big bowl of this pretty soup with a spoon. All you have to do is blend up cubes of any kind of melon, you can even mix different varieties – such as honeydew, cantaloupe, musk melon, just go crazy with whatever you can find in the market. And right now, there’s a tonne of them going pretty cheap for roughly ₹40 /kg.

Before you add the kiwi fruit, do check that they are on the sweeter side and not totally tart because if they are too sour, it will throw off the flavour balance of the whole dish. Remember to serve it with the salsa on top or just a slice or two of kiwi fruit. You are so gonna Instagram the life outta this one.

Fun Fact: Kiwi fruit are now exported all around the world from New Zealand, but they originally grew in China!

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 medium bowls)

  • 1 kg of any kind of ripe melon (or a mix of honeydew, muskmelon, cantaloupe, etc.) cut into large cubes
  • 4-5 ripe, sweet kiwi fruit
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 6-7 mint leaves
  • Sea salt, just a pinch
Instructions:
  1. To the blender, toss in the melon, orange juice, lemon juice, mint leaves, and kiwi fruit (ensure they are more sweet than sour).
  2. Season with salt and serve with a scoop of melon, kiwi and mint salsa in the centre, topped with a teeny tiny mint sprig.
  3. Melon, Kiwi And Mint Salsa: Finely dice 2 tablespoons of melon, 1 tablespoon of kiwi fruit (they should be the same size), and cut tiny ribbons of the mint leaves (Line up the mint leaves on top of each other, fold all together in half, and using a sharp knife cut very skinny strips – this technique is called chiffonade). Drizzle half a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix all with a small pinch of salt. This is your pretty salsa!

3. Cucumber & Mint Soup

NOT the same thing as blending up diced cukes and some mint leaves. Although that is actually a great way to cool your insides. The main ingredient here is the yoghurt. Blended with garlic, fresh mint leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and white pepper with the yoghurt and cucumbers, this soup is best served super chilled, garnished with a pinch of red chili flakes or paprika on top, and some dried mint powder for a beautiful contrast.

Fun Fact: This is a Turkish specialty, and they love yoghurt so much that they consume it in many different ways, both hot and cold, sweet and savoury. Kinda like us Indians, right? For those of you who follow a plant-based diet, are vegan or lactose intolerant, simply replace the dairy yoghurt with yoghurt made from nut, seed or rice milk.

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 medium bowls)

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy)
  • ½ tsp of garlic paste
  • 8-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes/paprika
  • ½ tsp dried mint powder
  • Big bowl of ice to cool the soup after blending
Instructions:
  1. Blend up garlic, fresh mint leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and white pepper with the yoghurt and cucumbers.
  2. Pour in a stainless-steel bowl and let that sit in a bigger bowl which has ice in it.
  3. Just before serving it super chilled, whisk in a pinch of red chili flakes or dust some paprika on top, sprinkle dried mint powder for a beautiful contrast with the red chili flakes or paprika and enjoy this cooling soup.

4. Carrot & Ginger Soup

Cold soup Carrot Ginger_Cayla1_Unsplash
Carrot Ginger Soup/ Cayla1 via Unsplash

A vibrant soup that can be enjoyed both, hot and cold. It is very filling and is chock full of beta carotene. Ginger makes it a very healing option for those suffering from acidity and other digestive issues.

FUN FACT: You get carrots in different colours around the world, from pale orange to red to purple and even blue!

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 medium bowls)

  • 6-8 orange carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled, grated and squeezed for juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions:
  1. Steam or pressure cook the carrots with a cup of water. Cool.
  2. Blend with the onion powder, ginger juice, salt, pepper and lemon juice. This soup can also be enjoyed hot if that’s your thing, but you should stir in the onion powder and lemon juice to the bowl only just before eating. If you heat it with the lemon juice it will turn bitter and ruin the whole soup. Onion powder will lose its punchy sharpness if you boil it with the soup. So maybe just enjoy this cold for now?

5. Watermelon & Feta Soup

A common combination for salads, but it tastes even better as a soup. Full of fibre and electrolytes, it is highly effective as a rehydrating meal. Kids love the bright red soup with the white, salty feta topping.

Fun fact: There are several types of watermelons that range in size, sweetness and even in colour of the flesh inside. Yellow or orange fleshed varieties are harder to find but just as sweet. The names of several kinds of watermelons are amusing, to say the least with unusual ones ranging from Desert King, Tendergold, Yellow Baby, Yellow Doll, Jubilee, Allsweet, Crimson Sweet, Black Diamond, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, Jack of Hearts and Millionaire.

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 medium bowls)

  • 1 large watermelon, peeled, deseeded and cubed, then frozen
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, grated and squeezed for juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of firm Feta cheese, diced
  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Blend the watermelon, ginger juice, lemon juice and salt.
  2. I prefer to chiffonade the mint and add it just before serving but you may want to blend it in as well. You could even try blending half and adding the other half to the bowl.
  3. For those of you who want to add the white wine, blend everything else first, then add the wine at the end and give it only a short spin. Make sure the wine is extremely chilled.
  4. Place the diced Feta artistically in the centre or along the rim to contrast with the red soup and place sprig or chiffonade of mint on top. Serve immediately.

If you’ve never had cold coups before, this could be a great time to experiment and all these ingredients are rather cheap, and very easily available. Don’t hesitate to put your own twist on these recipes and if you make any or all five of these cold soups, please take a selfie with the soup or just a pic of the soup, and tag our guest writer Simona when you post it online with the hashtag #theheartchef.

THC 4
Simona & DebbieDoobyDoo

[These Cold Soup recipes were featured in Episode 1 of THC HeartBytes on Sunday, April 08, 2018. THC HeartBytes is a WhatsApp-based, free, subscription-only food podcast for food lovers who love cooking and even those who hate cooking. Episodes are sent to you every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday via WhatsApp. Register by WhatsApping START THC on 8355909603. You can follow Simona on Instagram and Facebook.]

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