Soup on ice
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!
-- "The Mock Turtle's Song," Lewis Carroll
» Cool off with our selection of chilled soup suggestions
SOUP. Beautiful, soothing, comforting soup! So cold and refreshing . . . Something's wrong there. I'm hearing my father's voice, saying, "If it ain't hot, it ain't soup."
Had he been forced to eat them, my dad would have called sparkling-clear, cold consommé "fancy-schmancy meat-flavored Jell-O," and velvety-smooth vichyssoise "watered-down mashed potatoes those French guys make."
Not to worry. The man is no longer around to see his daughter delight in a variety of icy-cold soups. I've lived in Hawaii more than 40 years now, and have found that cold soups are truly refreshing on hot summer days, and we have many more of those in Hawaii than my father had in northern Idaho. I had never encountered cold noodle soups until I moved here and found out how cooling chilled ramen and somen could be.
Chilled fruit soups have long been a summer tradition in Eastern Europe, where plums, sour cherries and blueberries are abundant. A cold, fresh cherry soup known as kirshenzup is still a summer favorite in Germany.
Russians have served both hot and cold borscht, a tasty beet soup, since Medieval days, and chlodnik, a creamy borscht with a name properly pronounced only by native Poles, is also served chilled.
Yogurt-based soups have been eaten as cold dishes in India and Pakistan since the Persians and Moguls invaded, and those soups have now invaded restaurants worldwide. Also on fine-dining menus is gazpacho, a fresh vegetable soup of Spanish origin that is always served icy cold. From Africa's Cote d'Ivoire, where green papayas are often used as vegetables, come cold papaya soups, and from Latin America, avocado soups with flavors similar to guacamole.
With a world of recipes available, making and serving elegant bowls of summer soups is the "coolest" way to conquer the heat of the season.