Cold soups and gazpachos : discover our favorite recipes
You love hearty comforting soups in winter, but just thinking about them gives you hot flashes? Us too! Today, we’re proposing an alternative created with hot summer weather in mind – cold soups!
Refreshing, light, colourful and chocked full of vitamins, they’ll satisfy your cravings while keeping you cool. Actually, did you know that as well as being delish, these soups have their origins in gazpachos that will put travel ideas in your head!
Where do cold soups come from?
As you’ve probably guessed, cold soups aren’t typically Canadian, but European. In fact, they originated gazpacho was evolving, which was in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, located in southwestern Europe where the heat is really hot and stifling all-year round.
Gazpacho was once very popular with less affluent farmers for its simplicity and nutritional value. Over the years, it’s evolved and is now more like a soup made of mixed veggies served cold. Traditionally, gazpacho is prepared with tomatoes, then diluted with water or ice cubes. What you add to the tomatoes – like breadcrumbs, cucumbers, peppers and onions – depends on the region.
Cold soups stem from this basic recipe that incorporates a variety of ingredients, each one more different than the other. Corn, sweet peas, carrots, spinach, lemon, melon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin – only your imagination is the limit! In short, there’s a lot of choice to impress the crowd.
There are a lot of cold soup sceptics out there. That’s why we did a little research on the health benefits nutritionists love. Here’s a list of the ones that made the biggest impression on us:
1. Lots of vitamins and nutritional benefits
In our opinion, the biggest asset that cold soups have to offer is that they’ve got mainly veggies in them. This represents a huge variety in the health benefits department. So our parents were right when they told us, “Have some soup, it’ll make you grow.”
2. Keep you hydrated
Body temperature goes up in the summer, especially during heatwaves and long days in the sun. It’s essential to cool down regularly. Cold soups and gazpachos are excellent sources of water, which allows you to stay hydrated while being creative in the ways you consume water.
3. No more munchies
Most of the time, cold soup is pretty rich in water and fibre. So in addition to being excellent for the digestive system, they have the very important power to satiate. The more fruits and veggies you eat, the more you curb your cravings for sugar, fat and salt, which make cold soups great for avoiding bad food habits.
4. Make you glow
Being made up of mainly fruits or veggies, cold soups are natural antioxidants with vitamins A, C and E. This keeps your body skin and neurons healthy. They also contain a lot of magnesium from green veggies, legumes or grains, which are important for the body to function properly. In fact, this molecule is involved in all chemical reactions in our body when it comes to energy production. So, by increasing your magnesium intake, you can say buh bye to fatigue and stress.
How to make cold soups
When you discover a new dish or decide to cook one for the first time, many questions come to mind. So we’ve put together a list of questions we’ve asked ourselves in the hopes of helping you.
Prerequisites for making cold soups?
There are no real prerequisites or limits when it comes to cold soups. But we do have a few tricks that might come in handy.
- Use local or seasonal veggies. Not only are they good for your pocketbook and the environment, seasonal and local vegetables are often fresher and better than imported vegetables, especially because of the shorter time between picking and eating. In fact, a good alternative to in-season vegetables are frozen vegetables. We’ll talk more about that later in this article.
- Quality, pesticide-free veggies are also a big plus when making cold soups. This is really important to us, which is why all our veggies are tested for pesticide residues. If you’re curious and would like to know more about pesticides, check out this article!
- Seasonings are your new besties. Unfortunately, when you cook cold, you lose some flavour compared to hot or warm recipes. That’s why we suggest seasoning soup to up their flavour. Just wait till the end so you don’t over-season.
- And finally, it’s always good to have a funky addition to enhance your dish. For example, you could garnish with a fruity salsa and a few croutons or how about a piece of veggie or fruit that you’ve used in the soup complemented by a fresh herb!
How long does a cold soup last?
Right proportion of liquid to veggies?
We did the test, and this question is more than relevant. To get the best smooth texture, it’s important to properly calculate the right amount of water or stock to add to your mixture. Generally, a cold soup is made up of a lot of liquid. But every recipe is different. The goal is to obtain a velvety, smooth texture that’s not too liquidy or too thick. If you’ve come up with your own recipe, we suggest you go slowly using trial and error.
Steps for making a cold soup
What we love about cooking is that there are no two recipes that are alike. That’s why it can be tricky to say exactly what the steps are to making a good cold soup. But in general, some steps repeat regardless of the recipe.
- First, you start by softening the veggies by boiling or grilling them. Please note that you should heat up your veggies when you choose frozen or hard veggies like carrots. On the other hand, if you use tomatoes, for example, you don’t have to cook them first. You can use them raw.
- Then you season the veggies a little or add some savoury ingredients like garlic, aromatic herbs, and the like. However, we do recommend you do this at the end when you’re winging it (i.e., not following a recipe).
- Then, just purée the ingredient with a mixer to get it silky smooth. If you want, you can then pour it through a sieve to remove any lumps.
- After, just chill the mixture so it’s nice and fresh. Generally, you put it in the fridge here, but some recipes propose adding ice cubes.
- Now serve and enjoy!
Do you have to use raw veggies?
Nope. Originally, gazpachos were usually made with raw veggies, hence using raw veggies for cold soups. But you don’t have to. Just the opposite really. Today, many cold soup recipes say to cook the veggies to soften them up first. This technique allows you to use full-flavour ingredients which in turn elevates the soup itself. Frozen veggies can be an excellent substitute for fresh. In fact, the benefit of using frozen vegetables is that they keep their nutritional values through the freezing process. Sometimes they’re even more vitamin-rich than fresh vegetables that would have been picked well before consumption and would have, therefore, lost certain vitamins. Learn more about frozen veggies here!
Our favourite cold soup recipes
That’s why we’re sharing a few recipes that we’ve come up to inspire your summer evenings. But in all honesty, after tasting a few of them, we were convinced.
By concluding on these beautiful colours, we’re hoping we’ve answered your questions about cold soups. Now we’re going to whip one up tonight! And for those who aren’t yet convinced, you can always make yourself a hearty, hot soup! Here are a few just in case you change your mind.