Cooling Cold Soups for Summer

7 Cold Soups for Hot Summer Days

When the weather turns hot, nothing soothes like a bowl of cold soup. These recipes for cold soups (a.k.a. chilled soups) are perfect for hot summer days – for most of them you don't even need to turn on an oven or stove to make them.

Note: Cold soup requires some advance planning. All of these soups are better if made a few hours before eating so they have time to chill thoroughly and have their flavors blend before serving.

  • 01 of 07

    Chilled Green Gazpacho

    Tomatillo Cucumber Gazpacho
    Green Gazpacho. Photo © Molly Watson

    Bright tomatillos, snappy green peppers, cool cucumber, and other green delights get whirled together into this no-cook, chilled soup. Add garnishes to keep it light and salad-like or turn it into a full meal with a bit of shredded chicken or poached shrimp on top. See the full recipe here.

  • 02 of 07

    Cold Borscht — Chilled Beet Soup

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Sweet, earthy spring beets become a refreshing chilled soup in this easy, flexible recipe. Serve it pureed smooth or leave it with pieces of grated beets floating in the sweet, red broth. A dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche takes it over the top of deliciousness. Check out the recipe here.

  • 03 of 07

    Cold Sweet Corn Soup

    Chilled or Hot Corn Soup
    Sweet Corn Soup. Molly Watson

    By grating the corn off the cob, you avoid having to strain this soup to remove excess husky or fibrous kernels. The bit of onion adds sweetness, and the potato adds body. If you're feeling fancy, garnish this soup with minced roasted chile, chopped cilantro, diced avocado and/or tomato. A few tortillas or tortilla chips on the side wouldn't be out of place either. Get all the details to make it here.

  • 04 of 07

    Cold Zucchini Soup

    Image of Cold Zucchini Soup
    Cold Zucchini Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    Cold Zucchini Soup accomplishes two goals for many local foods eaters, especially if they happen to also be gardeners: 1) it is a delicious cooling meal on a hot summer's day, and 2) it uses up plenty of prolific zucchini. Make it tonight with this recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Creamy Chilled Avocado Soup

    Chilled Avocado Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    Chilled Avocado Soup takes advantage of avocado's naturally thick and creamy texture to make a luxuriously rich soup. Lime and cilantro brighten the richness. Serving it cold takes the edge off summer's worst heat. It's lovely with tortilla chips!

    Simply whirl up 3 avocados with 4 cups chicken broth, a garlic clove, and about a tablespoon of lime juice. Salt to taste and chill before serving with cilantro and/or green onions as a garnish.

  • 06 of 07

    Minted Green Pea Soup

    Chilled Pea Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    This recipe for Minted Green Pea Soup can be served hot or cold. You can stir in the cream - as pictured here - as a garnish, or omit it - the soup is rich and "creamy" all on its own.

    In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil and saute 2 chopped spring onions or 4 green onions. Add 4 cups sweet green peas and 6 cups chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the peas are tender. Let cool, whirl in a blender until smooth. Cover and chill until cold. Season to taste and serve.

  • 07 of 07

    Spanish Gazpacho

    Spanish Gazpacho Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    Spanish gazpacho is smooth and subtle and perfect for hot summer days. Its smooth texture comes from pureeing and straining and then letting it chill for several hours – the bit of advance work is totally worth it. 

    In a blender whirl 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, half a cucumber, 4 inches baguette, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Strain, whirl again, cover and chill at least 4 hours. Season to taste before serving with chopped...MORE cucumber, diced red pepper, cubed ham, black olives, chopped hard-cooked egg, and/or minced red onion for diners to garnish their bowls.