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Summer in a soup bowl

In this heat, try to keep your food easy, cool and light. Preparation is to be kept to a minimum, and forbid any heat generating appliances. That means there’s no better time to slurp up some cold soups!

india Updated: Jun 01, 2012 01:26 IST
Rupali Dean

In this heat, try to keep your food easy, cool and light. Preparation is to be kept to a minimum, and forbid any heat generating appliances. That means there’s no better time to slurp up some cold soups!

You could be lukewarm about cold soups and associate them with baby food made out of leftovers, but it takes a friend to whip up a delicious cold soup in a blender… leftover roasted tomato, vegetable broth, and some herbs… and mama mia, you’d be a convert!

Cold soups are fun, conversational, and best of all, a great way to stay cool as the heat wave crests towards June. Pair with a fabulous salad made with some great fare from your local market and you have a great summer meal that doesn't require your stove top, oven or grill. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Cold treatment
The king of cold soups is the Spanish Gazpacho, crammed with nutritious vegetables; the classic version has cucumber, though I personally love it with zucchini. Another Hot (read cold) favourite is the ceviche, basically a seafood soup that requires no cooking owing to the acid in the fresh lime juice cooking the shrimp. Add jalapeno pepper, green chilies, chili powder, cumin and tortilla chips to it and its superlative.

Robust yogurt based soups, make hearty meals with lots of texture and you can pack them up with nutritious ingredients like spinach, greens, cucumbers and tomatoes. Nothing is more seducing than icy cold soups with slightly spicy accents.

They are equally satisfying whether offered as a starter or as a light main course. Chilled soups usually need stock, so keep in mind if you start out using a bad tasting stock — your soup will be bad too!

Cold tips
Chill your soup in the fridge for at least an hour
Pour the soup into shot glasses and pass them around as an aperitif.
Chill the soup bowls
Leftover pasta also tastes good as garnish.

Gazpacho Soup

6 pcs fresh tomato, 200 gms cucumber, red, yellow and green peppers about 120 gms each, salt to taste, pepper from the mill, 60 gms bread croutons, 5 gms espellette chilli powder, a few cloves, 80 gms tomato paste, Tobasco sauce to taste

1. Peel the tomatoes by removing the skin with a knife and keep it to decorate the centre of the plate.
2. Blend the tomatoes, the cucumber, the three kind of peppers (keep 30 gms of each pepper diced for serving separately with bread croutons)
3. Make a paste of olive oil, espelette chili, salt, pepper, tomato and blend it for 2/3 minutes.
4. Check for seasoning, the salt and pepper chilli. Cover with cling film label it and keep in the chiller.
5. Serve chilled. Also serve separately 10 gr of croutons, red peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, per person. Serve in a chilled plate or soup bowl
-By Chef Thomas Figovc, Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon

Mulberry-n-Yoghurt cold soup

400 Gms mulberry (shehtoot), 150 gms low fat yogurt, a pinch of rock salt, 10 ml lemon juice

1. Blend Mulberry in blender; add yoghurt, rock salt and Lemon Juice.
2. Add crushed ice
3. Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and fresh mulberry.
4. Served Chilled
-By chef Gagandeep, Qube, leela palace hotel

Mango Almond soup

4 to 6 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped, or 4 cups frozen mango, thawed, 1 cup milk, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon ancho or other mild chili powder, or to taste, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste, 5-6 almonds

1. Purée mangos in food processor or blender, adding enough milk to let themachine easily do its work (work in batches, if necessary.) Add the remaining milk, the yogurt, coconut milk, chilli powder and cayenne, and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
2. Transfer soup to bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Ladle into bowls, garnish with almonds and serve.
-By Chef Anurudh Khanna, The Park Hotel

Did you know?
Frank Sinatra always asked for chicken and rice soup to be available to him in his dressing rooms before he went on stage.