Use the bounty from farmer's markets to make these delicious chilled summer soups.

Beat the Heat with These 3 Cold Soups

When temperatures sizzle, soup is probably the last thing on your mind. But soup doesn’t have to be hot; cultures around the world cool off this time of year with delicious chilled soups made with fresh seasonal vegetables. And these soups are perfect for those on vegetarian or plant-based diets, too. Here are three of the best – and easiest – soups  to serve up cold.

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

  • 6 large heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced into 1/4″ pieces (reserve the seeds and liquid)
1 red onion, diced 1/4″
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced 1/4″
  • 2 red or yellow peppers, diced 1/4″
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Tabasco®
  • salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
8 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the tomatoes, seeds, liquid, onion, cucumber and peppers. Add cilantro, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Tabasco®, salt and pepper. Use a blender or food processor to blend the vegetables in batches. If you prefer a chunkier soup, hold back a quarter of the vegetables and add after pureeing. Stir in the oil a little at a time, tasting as you go, and chill for at least an hour. Just before serving, drizzle each serving with about 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, swirling it in. More details at Food for Health.


4 Tbsp butter
4-5 cups sliced leeks, cleaned, white and pale green parts only (from about 4 large leeks)
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups water (vegetarian option), or chicken stock
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (more to taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Heat butter in dutch oven or heavy deep pan. Saute the leeks and onion-cook gently, stirring frequently until golden. Add broth or water and potatoes and boil gently, uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Let cool and run through a processor until smooth. You may need to do this in two batches.  Chill until cold (about 20 minutes.) Stir in cream, chives salt and pepper. Consistency should be somewhat thinner than pancake batter; if too thick, add some milk. Serve cold.

Watermelon Soup

  • 4 cups seeded watermelon cubes
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Use a blender or food processor to purée the first 5 ingredients until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. If not sweet enough, add honey. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt. For a variation, try watermelon tomato gazpacho.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.