Cold Soups

We are crazy for cold soups right now.

First off, gazpacho from the French Laundry Cookbook. Oh my goodness. It is about as fabulous as you would expect. So you just combine all the ingredients (tomato - mine were from the Berry Patch, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, tomato paste, tomato juice, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, vinegar, and garlic) in a large bowl. You let the ingredients sit overnight, and something about the lemon juice sitting with the tomatoes overnight makes them taste as if they have been cooked when they haven't been. Then you purée the ingredients and serve.

 Then you purée the ingredients and serve. It is amazing and refreshing, and I even had some for breakfast this morning.

The recipe said you could also use gazpacho as a sauce or squirt some on your plate next to a salad. Basically, the luxury in Keller's recipes comes a lot from straining and puréeing things really well. There's something about the smooth textures of his recipes that feels luxurious in your mouth, but I think some scallions or croutons for garnish would be great too.

Also, we previously covered my cucumber obsession. Now we are on to cucumber soup! I went an entire summer when I lived in NYC dying from the subway platforms when all I ate was cucumber soup. Some can taste like the Indian condiment raita and just seem like puréed cucumbers with dill and yogurt. The recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything includes a little bit of cooking, but it a much improved version. It has chicken stock, butter, onions, dill, and a little bit of cream or yogurt. My freezer is filled with chicken stock I made so it is great to have a reason to use the stock even in days with 100 degree heat. Check it out.

Fill your fridge with these and you are set all week long. There are more I want to try. Any opinions on sweet cold soup? My Gardner Museum Cookbook  has one with melon, strawberries, and champagne, which sounds like a lot of fun.


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