Whether sweet or savory, chilled soups make a delightful (and often unexpected) addition to any meal.
But if you ask me, nothing beats the shooter variety, a tiny taste of something flavorful and refreshing, passed around poolside or arranged in neat rows on the patio at a garden party.
Though gazpacho is traditional (and we’ve included a link to my favorite version below), there are so many other options out there in the world of chilled soups. Here, I’ve brought together 21 versions from some of our favorite bloggers.
In this round-up of recipes, there’s truly something for everyone. Whether fruit or vegetable based, herbal, creamy, vegetarian, or vegan is what you’re after, there’s a recipe in this collection for you.
And the best part is that most of these recipes can be made quickly, with little to no time spent working over a hot stove, followed by just a few hours in the fridge or freezer. You and your guests will be chilling out in no time!
So, without any further ado: 21 Chilled Soups to Satisfy Any Taste!
Cool as a Cucumber (and Other Garden Vegetables)
What better way to celebrate the season’s bounty (especially when you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of cucumbers, tomatoes, and other vegetables overrunning your garden and quickly filling your larders) than to blend them up into a refreshing chilled soup?
After you’ve experienced the fresh flavors of these soups, it will be difficult to go back to the canned stuff. And they’re full of healthy vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, too!
This chilled cucumber soup is one of my favorite recipes (so far!) on Foodal. It’s creamy and refreshing, made with fresh herbs and vegetables, lemon juice for brightness, and a yogurt base.
We think it’s excellent served with a basket of freshly made sour barley pita.
2. Creamy Asparagus
Though I was a chilled soup skeptic for awhile after trying gazpacho for the first time in my tweens (before the word “tween” was a thing…) at a fancy New York restaurant, my first sip of a chilled asparagus variety very similar to this one was pure bliss.
Since that first taste, every time I see this pale green treat on a menu, I have to order it (and I’m lucky if I get to eat much of it in the end, since everyone else at the table errs on the side of caution at first, and then eagerly wants to help me finish the bowl once they’ve tried it!)
This version from Julie Wampler at Table for Two combines lightly sautéed asparagus (cooked quickly so they will maintain their vibrant green color) with a creamy and flavorful root vegetable base.
If root vegetables are your jam, keep reading for an entire subset of recipes that highlight this tasty variety of produce.
3. Roasted Red Pepper
If you love roasted peppers, especially the homemade variety, then you have to try this.
After roasting, peeling, and removing the seeds from a few red bell peppers, onion, garlic, and sage are combined with spices and vegetable broth.
The flavorful base is blended with the peppers to create a vibrant red mixture, and it’s finished with a touch of vinegar before chilling and serving.
Get the recipe here, from Michelle Peters-Jones at The Tiffin Box.
4. Traditional Gazpacho
As promised, this recipe is a summertime go-to for some, and a somewhat confusing reminder of salsa to others. Depending on which camp you fall into, you either love it or hate it.
The good news is, gazpacho is open to personal interpretation, and it can be made with a variety of fresh ingredients in all of the colors of the rainbow.
Try tinkering with this recipe from Foodal. Or, if you’re in the mood for a gazpacho of a different color…
5. Green Pea Gazpacho
… Why not give this cold green pea soup a try? Sure, tomatoes are the main ingredient in most soups of this variety, but that rule certainly isn’t set in stone. And this pea soup isn’t lumpy or flavored with salty ham, either.
Fresh green peas are sweet and delicious, and their essence shines through in combination with fresh herbs and green onions. The peas are just lightly cooked, and the pods are actually used to make a fresh vegetable stock.
Susan Bradley at LunaCafe says you can substitute with frozen if you have to, but fresh peas are really the star of the show here.
6. Bloody Mary
Made with four different types of tomatoes, shallots, and the classic bloody mary spices and other accoutrements, this is more of a meal (or at least an appetizer) than a cocktail. Of course, there is a touch of vodka thrown in there.
Get the recipe from Jenny Bullistron at Honey & Birch here.
If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, try our Spicy Bloody Mary recipe. We also recommend using fresh, homemade tomato juice for the best flavor. But for an added kick, Kendall Vanderslice also incorporates hot pepper-infused vodka.
7. Creamy Avocado Coconut
First, I’ve got to recommend another Foodal recipe. Not only is it creamy, cooling, and packed with healthy fats and nutrients from the avocado and fresh vegetables, it’s also made with a light and sweet coconut base, the perfect dairy-free option.
Plus, one quick substitution makes this dish vegan as well! Just sub out the chicken broth for a homemade veg stock instead.
8. Avocado Cucumber
In this entry on the Catching Seeds blog, Laurel Cornwell asks: chilled soup, or blended salad?
Regardless of your answer, there’s no doubt about it: this recipe is sure to whet your appetite, and you can whip up a batch in minutes.
Spinach, scallions, miso, tahini, ginger, and fresh herbs are combined with avocado and cucumber to make a supremely flavorful, vibrant green dish.
9. Cucumber, Avocado & Shrimp
Take your shrimp cocktail to the next level with this chilled soup from Jessica Pinney at Cooking With Janica.
The shrimp that top the dish are marinated in paprika, honey, and lemon juice before quickly pan frying. And the soup is made a bit spicy as well, with the addition of a touch of green habanero sauce to balance out the cooling vegetables, mint, and lime.
Make Mine with Fruit
Maybe fruit based soups seem like a thing of the past, reminiscent of ladies’ lunches of the 1980s (or the 1950s).
The truth is, they’re timeless, and it would be sad to leave them off the menu. They’re also incredibly diverse, with options trending towards dessert, as well as more savory varieties to choose from.
10. Strawberry Coconut
Another quick option, after just five minutes in the blender you can whip together this sweet recipe from Jen Stately at Carlsbad Cravings.
Bright pink, smooth, and soup-er satisfying (I couldn’t resist…), it’s enhanced with the flavors of vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon.
Garnish the top with some fresh orange zest and a sliced strawberry for a delightful addition to breakfast or brunch, or a sweet finish to your evening meal.
11. Cucumber & Green Grape Gazpacho
From Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra’s Kitchen we have this light and refreshing option, made with frozen grapes, fresh cucumber, dill, scallions, and a touch of vinegar for some added acidity.
It’s topped with sliced almonds, and cream cheese is added for some extra smoothness. Breadcrumbs are also incorporated to enhance the texture, as is done in most classic gazpacho recipes.
Alexandra also offers a tasty recipe for quinoa salad with mango, lime, and ginger to accompany this dish.
12. Cantaloupe, Ginger & Mint
If you haven’t tried this delightful flavor pairing before, you’re in for a treat.
This pale orange soup is just lightly sweet, and Lindsay Strannigan says it’s the perfect accompaniment to a light brunch. Yogurt and cream enhance the creaminess, plus a touch of lemon juice and salt to bring out the flavors.
Prash Pathak at Yummily Yours says this one will transport you straight to Hawaii, and we have to agree!
The sweet tropical flavor of fresh pineapple is balanced with onion, bell pepper, and cilantro, and coconut milk makes this vegan dish nice and creamy. Add a touch of hot pepper if you like, for some added kick.
You’ll find the recipe here.
14. Peach & Apricot
This Hungarian recipe from Dóra Moreland is sweet and refreshing, made with fresh, seasonal stone fruit and a few basic ingredients.
Though the measurements are vague, this is meant to encourage you to create a blend that suits your tastes. Don’t panic – have fun experimenting! It’s time to raid the spice rack. You can taste as you go, to create your own special spice blend.
Get the recipe now, on Plenty of Paprika.
Oh, and if you’re a big apricot fan, check out Nina Isensee’s fantastic apricot tart recipe as well.
15. Mango with Coconut & Lime
Another tropical vacation in a bowl, this one is brought to us by Susan Pridmore, The Wimpy Vegetarian.
Juicy, fresh mango is combined with coconut milk and yogurt, lime juice and zest, and a touch of honey. Serrano pepper is added for a bit of spicy heat, plus some cooling fresh mint to balance it out.
Susan shares her recipe here.
Go Nuts & Herbal Remedies
Neither are we promising any kind of instant cure, nor are we ensuring inevitable insanity. But there’s no reason not to go crazy for the following flavor-packed, nutrient-rich, super unique bowls and shots of tasty goodness.
16. Garlic Almond with Coriander & Lime
Get the recipe here, on Tales of a Kitchen.
17. Pistachio & Yogurt
Every bite of this yogurt-based soup is exciting, and there are so many different flavors going on – cucumber, dried hibiscus petals, toasted pistachios, and a whole bunch of fresh herbs.
It’s colorful and flavorful, creamy with a bit of crunch, savory but just a touch sweet.
It’s also super easy to make. Just toast the nuts, chop up your herbs, and throw everything into the blender.
18. Cream of Basil
This vegan, raw dish is summertime comfort food, especially when it’s topped with Sherrie Castellano’s corn and cucumber salad.
Though Sherrie says she doesn’t mind cooking when it’s hot out, and that she loves the flavors of roasted veg, this creamy soup base is simplicity at its finest.
You can make it in your own kitchen with blended raw cashews and basil, and you can even add some spinach if you like. For added crunch, Sherrie tops it with raw corn and cucumber, diced and combined with fresh parsley, lemon juice, and a touch of vinegar.
Roots: It’s Always Cooler in the Cellar
As a kid, I always loved to play computer games in the basement at my grandparents’ house the summertime, since it was cooler down there. For the same reason, my other grandmom’s house had a kitchen downstairs, one that was only used during the hotter months.
Though they’ve largely gone out of fashion with the advent of refrigeration and newfangled kitchen designs, the root cellar was a once popular household space, dark and cool, the perfect spot for storing apples and root vegetables so they’d last throughout the year.
The root vegetables themselves might not do the cooling, but stay with me here. Their starchiness gives them a creamy quality that lends itself well to creating smooth, satiny soups, with a sweet finish.
Of course, practitioners of Chinese medicine, backed by centuries (if not millennia) of experience would disagree with me here, arguing that root vegetables are in fact cooling in and of themselves, as “yin” foods that grow in the cool, dark earth.
Personally, I’m an advocate of food as medicine, as well as experimenting and doing whatever works. Maybe cold borscht gives you the horrors, but you love potato salad: it’s time to give vichyssoise a try, or any of the other delicious options in this category (and really, even if you think you’re not a fan, do try the beet soup as well – tastes can change)!
After cutting up beets, onions, and carrots into matchsticks and cooking them on the stove, they’re combined with chicken broth and seasonings, and blended until smooth.
Garnished with parsley and chopped hard boiled eggs, this is a satisfying and protein-rich dish that makes a wonderful lunch on a hot afternoon.
20. Carrot Ginger Coconut
This vegan recipe from Beth Manos Brickey of Tasty Yummies combines what many might think of as typical fall flavors in a chilled soup that’s got a serious kick, from fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, and curry powder.
Of course, adding these is optional, and you’re free to tinker with the flavors to make a dish that’s to your liking. You can even tinker with the temperature! Beth says this soup is also nice served at room temperature, or even warmed.
Farah at The Cooking Jar admits that she isn’t really a soup fanatic, but she’s definitely a fan of vichyssoise in the summer. She also reports that, despite its French-sounding name, this in in fact an American invention, based on evidence outlined by Julia Child.
All you need is a few ingredients – leeks, potatoes, cream or half and half, chicken stock, chives, and a dash of nutmeg. Somehow, this simple combination is pure magic. Though I’m still admittedly a bit cautious in the gazpacho department (I’ll definitely eat a few bowls, but please don’t leave me the whole batch) vichyssoise is a welcome summertime tradition.
Whether it’s the peak of your garden harvest, you just made your weekly trip to the farmer’s market, or the latest sale in the produce section of the grocery store caught your eye, great ingredients are always available to make the base of a chilled soup. It’s time to dust off the Vitamix, or pull that food processor (or immersion blender) out of the back of the cabinet. Soup’s on!
What types will you add to your menu, to get through the dog days of summer, or just to add some variety to a fancy multi-course meal? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credits: All photography in this article is owned and copyrighted by their respective owners as identified. Used with permission by Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved by all parties. Additional link contributions by Nan Schiller and Lori Hendrix.
About Allison Sidhu
Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.