3 Simple Chilled Summer Soups

When summer produce is at its peak, it needs little more than the addition of a few seasonings for the flavors to really shine. Here, cucumbers, summer squash and tomatoes are blended into three simple soups accented with herbs and enriched with avocados and nuts.

Chilled soups are not only the ideal starter for a summer dinner party, but they’re also perfect for sipping as a healthy snack on hot days, offering a savory change of pace to the usual fruit smoothies. These chilled soups are best made ahead so they can thoroughly chill in the fridge. They will keep well for up to up to 4 days.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Avocado and Dill

Makes 4 cups

Middle Eastern or Persian cucumbers are best here. If you can’t find them, use English cucumbers or a regular cucumber with the skin removed.

Ingredients:

1 pound cucumbers, roughly chopped

3/4 cup filtered water

1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced onion

1/2 clove garlic

1/4 cup chopped dill

6 mint leaves

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Sea salt to taste

Chopped chives to garnish

Directions:

Place all ingredients in an upright blender and blend until completely smooth, add salt to taste and serve chilled. Garnish with chives.

Chilled Creamy Summer Squash Soup with Basil and Lime

Makes 3 cups

Here the squash is simmered until just tender before blending. Doing this takes away the “raw” taste and helps the squash combine well with the other flavors. When Thai basil is available, it’s a good one to swap in for the regular basil.

Ingredients:

1 pound summer squash or golden zucchini, cut in ½-inch rounds

1 1/2 cups filtered water

Sea salt

1/3 cup blanched almonds

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons minced onion

1 garlic clove

4 teaspoons coconut butter or extra virgin coconut oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons basil chiffonade, plus more to garnish

Directions:

Place summer squash, water and a pinch of salt in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and add almonds and turmeric, and set aside to cool completely.

Once cool, place in a blender with onion, garlic, coconut butter and lime juice. Blend until completely smooth and velvety. Add salt to taste and stir in basil. Chill before serving and garnish with basil chiffonade.

Gazpacho

Makes 3 cups

This simple soup can be dressed up with garnishes of fresh herbs, scallions, sliced avocado, diced cucumber or a crumble of feta.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons minced onion

1/2 clove garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh chile, or more to taste

Sea salt to taste

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Cherry tomatoes to garnish

Directions:

Place all ingredients except cilantro in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste and pulse in cilantro. Serve chilled, topped with cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.

Get more healthy dish ideas:

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer based in New York City. She is the author of the award winning cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. See more of Amy’s recipes at amychaplin.com.

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