Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Chilled Soups for Summer

I love chilled soups and a good Gazpacho is really delicious. Chilled soups are refreshing, light and can be either savoury or sweet. I prefer the savoury varieties and here are two interesting recipes I came across recently.

Cold Fennel Soup

I'm glad I came across this one as we grew fennel in the Kitchen Garden one year and had a glut of it – it's lovely roasted to accompany a hot meal or steamed and used in chunks in salads.

2 bulbs of fennel
Juice of 1 lime
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
25cl of single cream
Olive oil (for frying)
Small bunch of dill, chopped
4 sprigs of cilantro or tarragon
Salt and pepper

Peel off the outer layers of the fennel bulb to clean it, wash and then cut into pieces. Sauté for 5 minutes in the olive oil over high heat and add salt and pepper. Cover with water and then add the chopped dill. Let it reduce to three quarters.

Mix in the lime juice, Tabasco sauce and single cream. You can then pour the soup into tall glasses and add a sprig of cilantro or tarragon to garnish. Cool and refrigerate until serving.

Cold Radish Soup

This is another great recipe if you have a lot of radishes to use up in the garden! You can make it with all sorts of different varieties of radish – we grew the slightly Black Spanish Round ones which are crisp and pungent.

2 bunches of radishes
1 cucumber
6 natural yoghurts
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sprigs of mint, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds

Rinse and peel a cucumber, grate it and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let it drain for 1 hour in refrigerator. Clean and slice the radishes. Then drain the cucumber and squeeze out the excess juice by pressing it in your hands.

Whisk the yogurt with the lemon juice, crushed garlic and crushed coriander seeds in a bowl. Season with salt and add the radish and cucumber. Garnish with chopped mint. Serve chilled.

A good chilled rosé wine would be lovely with either of these soups – try the Montagnac Syrah Rosé which is made by a small co-operative, Les Vignobles Montagnac, located between Beziers and Montpellier in the Languedoc Roussillon. This is made from 100% Syrah (otherwise known as Shiraz) and has aromas of chocolate, violets, truffles, leather, coffee and black pepper.

If you are interested in making other cold soups check out my blogs: Summer Snacks: Chilled Grape Soup and White Wine and Chilled Soups (Gazpacho, Borscht and Vichyssoise).


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