Cold Eats for Hot Days

It’s been a hot July. I can take the cold weather in the winter, but I’m not the best trooper when it comes to bearing up to a summer heat wave. I do my best, but you can only take so many clothes off.

Cold frosty drinks like strawberry daiquiris, frozen margaritas or even lemonade can help, but what about eats? Grilling keeps the heat outside. Watermelon is both refreshing and thirst-quenching. Many of my beloved side salads can be done without heat, especially if you start with canned beans.

My current favorite solution is cold soup. I’ve always been a big fan of gazpacho. Here’s the way I usually make it. I like that it can be made without turning on the stove.

This year, my favorite cold soup seems to be vichyssoise. I start with my usual hot potato-leek soup, add a pint of light cream, and chill it overnight. It’s filling without being heavy, creamy without being too rich. I’ve been making the hot version (without any cream) for decades, but was only inspired to try a cold version this summer. I’m glad I experimented because I’m pleased with the results.

What’s your favorite thing to eat when the weather is steamy?

Serves 6-8

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (3-4 leeks)
4 cups diced peeled russet potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
1 quart chicken broth
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 cups light cream

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the leeks, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

In several batches, puree the soup in the blender. Add the cream and combine well. Add nutmeg and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Chill overnight.


Posted on 19 July 2011, in General and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Ooh, what a great cold soup! I’m usually making gazpacho, so this would be a nice change up.

  2. My mom’s home-made pistachio ice cream (she pours it into the ice trays so we get little cubes)
    Home-made, extra-sweet mango juice
    Un-flavored yoghurt with sprouted green gram (mixed together with salt and cooled overnight)
    So many more!

  3. You know, I have never made this but I have all the ingredients on hand. I even made stock last night! Your post, of course, is absolutely timely–just saw tomorrow may crack 100!?

    • @Sara: National Weather Service issued an Extreme Heat Advisory for tomorrow and Friday afternoon. With humidity, it could feel like 105. Ugh! Stay cool this weekend. If you try this soup, let me know how it comes out.

  4. I love potato leek soup, but have never eaten it cold before. This looks and sounds wonderful. Your photo is beautiful!

  5. Such a pretty soup! I’ll have to give it another chance, that is, if the weather ever gets warm this summer. When it is hot here, I love to make ice pops and I serve a lot of salads. When I was young, my mother’s go to in hot weather was cottage cheese with canned fruit. It sounds a little strange, but it was just perfect in sweltering weather.

  6. This sounds really delicious, like a savoury version of milk shake/smoothie:) I have never tried this before, not yet anyway. Thanks for the idea

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