4 Light, Bright Chilled Soups for Sizzling-Hot Summer Days

August 28, 2018

We've partnered with Milk Life to share recipes, tips, and videos highlighting all the unexpectedly delicious ways you can use organic milk. Case in point: These easy, refreshing chilled soups blend seasonal veggies with organic milk for a light, fresh, and creamy base.

Even with a few weeks of summer left to be savored, there are things I already know I’m going to miss: dreamy backyard dinner parties, blissful weekend trips to the beach, and of course, the season’s fleeting produce. It won’t, however, be difficult to part with the stifling humidity and boiling temperatures that have scorched New York City since what seems like forever.

Photo by Julia Gartland

That’s why from now until the end of September you’ll find me cooking through a lineup of simple, refreshing, hyper-seasonal dishes. Think bright, herby salads, simple pastas with crisp veggies, the humble-but-perfect-in-every-way tomato sandwich, and one of my favorites—simple, flavorful soups.

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No, not a steaming hot bowl of chicken noodle or roasted butternut squash—I’m talking about chilled soups made from August ingredients like tomatoes, corn, and zucchini. It’s an incredibly easy way to capture and concentrate summer-ripened flavors in one dish, and really hits the spot when the heat keeps you craving something light and fresh.

Whether I’m working off a recipe (like one of the four below) or blending up something brand new, I like to use organic milk as my soup's base. It’s got a creamy body (without bringing actual heavy cream into the mix) and subtle sweetness that complements naturally sweet ingredients like corn and beets, while also mellowing out the intense flavors of something like roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions.

The formula is as straightforward as it gets:

Organic milk + summer veggie + complementary flavor + garnish

You’ll want to make sure to gently simmer your ingredients with the dairy milk to meld the flavors together as opposed to aggressively boiling them, which could lead to curdling. As the soup cools down, it may start to thicken, so sometimes I like to use a splash or two to thin it down just a touch before serving.

Another cool tip: Make a batch of soup the night before work so it can chill overnight and be ready to go as lunch the next day. (But if you're dying to get a taste of your creation before it cools down all the way, it'll taste just as good hot or at room temperature.) You can also use garnishes to boost flavor or echo ingredients in the soup, like mascarpone, chopped pistachios, or fried sage leaves.

So are you craving creamy chilled soups yet? Before whizzing up your own, check out a few of the light, bright recipes below for inspiration:

Colorful Chilled Soups for Extra-Hot Days

In partnership with Milk Life, an organization of milk processors around the country, we're excited share fun, family-friendly ways to use organic milk from breakfast all the way to dinner.

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.