Cold soups refresh the palate, regardless of when in the meal they are served; as first-course offerings, appetizer courses, hors d’oeuvre, or desserts. They may be presented in a variety of ways dependent on the type of gathering or party.
For an event where people will be standing (more of a cocktail party or reception), try serving the soup in chilled stemware or tiny tasting portions in almost any type of glassware for the ease of the guests. For a sit down gathering, serve in traditional soup plates or cups.
Cold soups may be prepared in one of three ways, depending on their type.
- Vegetable or fruit soups are made by puréeing or chopping fruits and vegetables finely enough to form a soup-like consistency. Other ingredients, like broth, fruit juice, or buttermilk are often added to the soup to lighten the consistency.
- Cream soups are made from a thickened base such as a velouté, béchamel, or potato purée, or with the addition of a creamy ingredient, like sour cream, yogurt, or heavy cream, to a vegetable or fruit purée. Cold soups may thicken as they cool, so adjust the soup to be sure it is creamy, but not stiff.
- Clear soups are made by clarifying and fortifying a rich broth and, if desired, thickening the base with a little gelatin for body. Clear soups may include small and delicate garnishes for presentation.
Remember to allow soups sufficient time to develop their flavor; some soups are at their best and ready to serve as soon as they are prepared, while others will develop a more complex and satisfying flavor if they are allowed to mellow under refrigeration for several hours or overnight.
Keep in mind, when you are preparing any chilled food sure to taste it carefully at the correct serving temperature for proper seasoning. Something may taste properly seasoned well hot, but chilled or at room temperature, the seasoning will be dulled.
Try some of our favorite chilled soups: