Enough with the soup smoothies, thank you
When most of us think of soup we think of something hot, steaming, soul satisfying and hearty.
It’s not something we generally crave or seek out in the summer.
But, when it comes to cold soup, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings. Sometimes cold soup is very good, and clearly a soup. Other times it’s just OK, and suspiciously like a smoothie.
I think when its savoury it’s clearly a soup and when it’s sweet it’s sometimes just a smoothie in a bowl that you need to eat with a spoon. There is however, a balance to be struck where sweet meets savoury, salty meets spicy and a fruit-based soup ceases being a beverage in a bowl and begins its existence as a meal.
I know, it’s very confusing right?
I think the question of the day is, when does pureed fruit actually quit being a smoothie and start being soup?
I was in a restaurant the other day and their feature soup was cold cantaloupe with lime sorbet.
It was a particularly hot day and as I was ordering it, I thought to myself — ‘hey, that’s not soup, it’s dessert.’
It came and yes, it was dessert.
It was delicious, but it wasn’t lunch.
Cold soup can be an excellent addition to any summer menu and a fantastic way to satisfy the vegetarians at the party ,but please don’t call it soup when it clearly isn’t.
There are plenty of great recipes for cold soup; gazpacho (the classic), vichyssoise, fresh pea and mint, buttermilk asparagus, carrot and ginger, chilled squash with spicy pumpkin seeds to name but a few.
There are a million variations really, something to please just about any palate.
But I think if you want to make a fruit-based soup and actually pass it off as a soup it needs to have a proper savory element.
For instance, with the cantaloupe soup if they had added a jalapeno sorbet with fresh cilantro and garnished it with a grilled prawn or two that would have been soup (and lunch) because it certainly isn’t a smoothie.
Prawns in smoothies are just gross.
Watermelon soup starts being extra delicious when you add some fresh basil, feta cheese and a squeeze of balsamic reduction.
Red grape and almond soup is delicious with a few cracks of black pepper, a little nutmeg, fresh garlic and a splash of sherry vinegar.
English cucumber and green grape soup is excellent with fresh dill, toasted walnuts and a swirl of Greek style yogurt.
So this summer, get your soup on. It’s a great no-cook dinner that can really utilize the peak of the season fruits and veggies at our finger tips.
But I am begging you, no soup shooters.
They aren’t cool anymore.
Angie Quaale is a local foodie and owner of Well Seasoned gourmet food store.