6 Chilled Summer Soups

              Summer Rerun from 2018: We have every vegetable we could want right at our fingertips, yet we have a dilemma – it’s just too hot to cook!          

Sometimes, it’s too hot to eat as well! Enter chilled summer soups!

Right now, there is every imaginable summer vegetable and fruit waiting for us at the markets and farm stands: squash, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, scallions, peppers, turnips, carrots, lettuces, beets, radishes, greens beyond belief, and it all looks inviting.

trio of chilled soups
Chilled Summer Soup “Shooters.” Give your guests a treat with a sample of several chilled soups on a hot day.

Long hot summer days like this, I’m glad I have a plan, and my blender is at the center of my kitchen routine. In just a few moments, without turning on the stove, a big batch of fresh soup can be prepared and set to chilling in the refrigerator for dolling out over the next few days.

Six inviting chilled soups

These are my six favorite chilled summer soups: Cucumber soup, vegetable gazpacho, vichyssoise, chilled pea soup, chilled corn soup, and borscht. All are delightful when eaten frosty cold. By themselves, they make a great summer lunch or snack; they are filling, refreshing, and as you eat them you feel healthy with each spoonful! They are all vegetarian and can be made vegan!

I’ve served these chilled summer soups as samplers at the Inn as a starter course on hot summer days, and also at weddings as a wonderful passed chilled summer soup “shooter” appetizer. They are always a hit.

Five minutes in the kitchen

My personal favorites are Simple Spicy Gazpacho and Chilled Cucumber Dill Soup, both raw preparations made in moments in the blender. For minimal cooking, Fennel Vichyssoise, much lighter than the original version which is made with potatoes and cream, is always a hit, and can be served cold or hot.

The Chilled Pea Soup with Mint and Ginger is a refreshing favorite, and requires little stove time, although when English peas are in season, you will have to devote a little Zen time to shuck the peas (in some parts of the country one ‘shells’ peas). Of course, if you blink and the peas disappear from the farm stand, frozen stands in nicely and absolutely no cooking!

Even if you don’t like beets, you’ll like this one…maybe

Although I am not a fan of beets, I often relent and make a small batch of Borscht for my husband. It is one of the most beautiful foods possible, and because it is so pretty, I always give it a try.

Nope, still don’t like beets, but I like this soup, and if you like beets, you will love this one. You can use any type of beet you like from candy stripe or golden to the deep red varieties.

Smooth or chunky, it’s your choice

These soups can all be processed into a smooth puree, or left with a few chunks, make it however you like. They are all gluten-free, nut-free, and can easily be made dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan as well. That means just about everyone can eat them!

Because I need to spend so little time making them, I like to fuss a bit when thinking about presentation. Herbs, vegetables, flowers, flavored oils, capers, nuts, all these things add to the appeal of the soup, the flavor, and the texture. Every one of them can happily accept the addition of a protein to dress them for dinner.

My tried-and-true favorite chilled summer soups:

1. Spicy Gazpacho

Gazpacho 2
Add as much or little spice as you want to this blender soup. To make it a dinner, add crabmeat, shrimp, or tofu.

2, Chilled Cucumber Soup with Dill

Cucumber soup
Cool as a cucumber, and this soup takes moments to throw together in the blender.

3. Chilled Beet Soup (Borscht or Svekolnik

Add just dollop the sour cream on top and let everyone choose if and how much.

4. Chilled Pea Soup with Mint and Ginger

Pea and mint soup
What is more refreshing than mint on a hot summer’s day? The mint and ginger blend together with the fresh peas to make a truly delightful summer supper or lunch.

5. Fennel Vichyssoise

Fennel vichyssoise
Fennel replaces the potatoes, and lite coconut milk stands in for the heavy cream. However, neither is missed in this creamy redux!

Last, but not least!

6. Chilled Fresh Corn Soup

Chilled corn soup

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60 Comments Add yours

  1. What a wonderful collection of soups and I love the way you’ve presented them 🙂

    1. Thanks! We enjoy them all, and they dress up nicely!

  2. Ronit Penso says:

    It’s great to have a glimpse to older post that we may have missed.
    Hard to choose between all these tasty options! 🙂

    1. Those look so elegant and delicious, too. Perfect for the hot days of summer.

      1. Thanks! They dress up really nicely!

    2. Thanks Ronit! It was fun revisiting these. Some of my favorites, still!

  3. Lifetime Chicago says:

    Love this group!

    1. Thank you! I decided they all belonged together!

  4. NativeNM says:

    Where do you find the time! With such a variety of soups there’s something for everyone personal tastes! The chilled corn sounds refreshing, especially since the local farm we visit has announced that the corn is now ready.

    1. Nothing better than corn season!
      The chilled soups made a lovely brunch/breakfast starter when the heat set in. Guests loved them!

  5. brwbmm says:

    I’d like to try the pea and corn soups. Interesting that you keep the corn soup in the refrigerator overnight before finishing the preparation.

    1. The overnight let’s the flavors really marry, and the soup get really cold! The two you named are my two favorites!

  6. Awesome recipes! It’s going to be hot around here I’m looking forward to trying your chilled soups!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  7. My grandma made a cold strawberry soup in summer, which I loved.

    1. Did she use wine in hers?

      1. No, of course not.

      2. It’s really good with red wine…

      3. Of course

  8. Funny, I was just thinking about soup right before opening this post. Thankn you for the wonderful inspiration!

    1. What I love is the ease of some of these! No fuss.

  9. Kevin says:

    A beautiful mix of colours and flavours! Stay cool and enjoy summer.

    1. Thanks! Cool is the word!

  10. Christy B says:

    Lots of great options on a hot day like today!

    1. Thanks! They are quite refreshing.

  11. CarolCooks2 says:

    Spicy Gazpacho and Beets yes please…:)

    1. The beets are all yours!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Thank you I love beets 🙂

      2. So does my husband, he could eat them every day!

      3. CarolCooks2 says:

        I could to I love beets any which way…

  12. lisinmayenne says:

    I just put your spicy gazpacho on the menu . . . time to go harvesting! 😊

    1. May your day be filled with tomatoes and cucumbers!

  13. Jenna says:

    Great idea for hot days, and your presentations are beautiful!

    1. Thank you Jenna! They are so refreshing, and it’s easy to make them look pretty!

  14. Gail says:

    Ahhhhh. How delightful, Dorothy. I’m glad you decided to make them “shooters” because I want to try every single one. Beautiful presentation! 👀🍃

    1. Thanks Gail. I first made the shooters for a wedding starter and everyone loved them. I served them the same weekend at the inn and they got a thumbs up all around.

      1. Gail says:

        I have no doubt. I’d feel pretty pampered by such an array of cold soup starters. 😍

  15. terrie gura says:

    Wow, you’ve got my number with these, Dorothy! There are few things I like better in the summer than gazpacho, and all your other soups look perfectly refreshing, too!

    1. Thanks Terrie! These are just my six favorites!

  16. These all look so good! I’ve never tried chilled pea soup; when my boys were kids, I always made a pot of steaming pea soup with pork tenderloin for Halloween dinner. It filled the kids up and kept them going strong for trick or treating.

    1. I bet they looked forward to that soup N.! It’s often pretty cold, and even snowy, on Halloween, and pea soup would certainly warm the spooky bones!

      1. We all loved it, D, and it was a great tradition!

  17. What a wonderful soup recipe collection, beautiful presentation too Dorothy!

    1. Thank you Diane! They really are pretty to look at!

  18. Americaoncoffee says:

    A yummy do!

    1. Thanks! The no cooking ones are the best right now.

  19. Thanks for sharing a beautiful collection of summer soups, I needed some inspiration today with record breaking temperatures here in North Central Texas!

    1. Thank you so much!!! Go for the no-cook and easy! Let the refrigerator do the work!

  20. On wow! The vegetable gazpacho, fennel vichyssoise, and that chilled pea soup really are calling my name ☺️ I would love to try them 😋

    1. Thank you! I think you’ll love them, and the ease of prep!

  21. Carolyn Page says:

    With summer on its way, Dorothy, I know I’ll be returning to this post over and over again. Still a little cool, at the moment, but, all things change… lol
    Apparently, El Nino is also on its way, meaning little rain and heat, heat and more heat for us down under – as if our summers aren’t hot enough!

    1. Enjoy them my friend!

  22. velva says:

    I am all over serving up chilled soups! Living in Florida, cold soups are the best. I really like your chilled corn soup.

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas.


    1. Thanks Velva! Corn season is upon us, and we had the corn soup earlier this week. So delicious!

  23. nancyc says:

    These chilled soups sound really good, especially in the really hot weather we’re having!

    1. The no-cook ones are my favorite when it is hot!

  24. Sherry Mackay says:

    lots of great soups here Dorothy. I really like a cold cucumber and garlic soup – like a thinner tzatziki 🙂

    1. Yum! Very refreshing when it’s hot!

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