For most soup fans, summer is a tricky season. Why? Because, there’s an assumption that soups are meant only for the winter season. However, according to chefs in the city, that’s not the case, as some soups are best served cold.
“Cold soups are just what you need to rejuvenate yourself on a hot summer day. They are delicious, and offer more nutritional benefits in comparison to hot ones,” says chef Vaibhav Bhargav.
If this is the case, then how come cold soups aren’t so popular in Delhi? “Cold soups are a staple in Britain and Mediterranean countries. Gazpacho, a cold soup made from raw blended vegetables, is a classic of Spanish cuisine and is famous all over the world. However, in India, there is a lack of awareness about cold soups. But, it’s changing now, especially because people are now recognising its health benefits,” adds Bhargav.
So, what exactly are its benefits? “Hot soups contain less vitamins and minerals when compared to cold soups because the constant simmering destroys nutrients. Cold soups are not cooked, which means its raw ingredients — fruits, vegetables and herbs — are preserved. They are high in antioxidants; they lower our blood pressure and make us feel energetic. Also, they are lighter and contain less fat and meat per serving,” explains chef Harangad Singh.
Apart from keeping us hydrated during summer and helping us stay healthy, cold soups are also versatile enough to be experimented with. “If you want a bit of quirkiness in your soup, then you can add wine or liqueur of your choice, as they blend easily. Otherwise, ingredients such as edamame and mushroom work really well,” suggests chef Ritesh Negi.
A few cold soup recipes:
Cold ramen noodle soup
Start by combining the ingredients of noodle dressing (60 ml soy sauce, 60gm sugar, 30ml rice vinegar, 30ml sesame oil, 3gm grated ginger) in a medium bowl and whisk it; and keep in the fridge. Then, make an egg crepe of two eggs by whisking eggs, salt and sugar. Heat them with oil in a pan and once the crepe is made, cut it into thin strips and cool it. For shrimps, add 30ml sake and shrimp in a small pot with boiling water; and cover it. Turn off the heat when the colour of shrimp changes. Transfer shrimps to a plate and let them cool. For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, separate the noodles before dropping into water. Drain the water and rinse the noodles to remove starch. Soak the noodles into a bowl of ice water to cool. Once cooled, add the shrimps and egg crepe to your noodle soup and top it off with noodle dressing.
By Chef Vaibhav Bhargava, The Drunken Botanist, Gurugram
Beet and yoghurt soup
Start by covering 500gm beetroot with silver foil and roast it for 45 minutes on 180 degree temperature. Peel the skin off the beetroot and allow it to be cool. Add 15gm mustard, 100ml red wine vinegar, 100ml sherry vinegar, 100ml honey and 10gm salt into a blender and blend it into a fine paste. Now, add 100gm yoghurt. Then, refrigerate it. Serve the soup cold with goat cheese and crisp bread.
By Chef Anooj Wadhawan, Roseate House
Truffle scented chilled green peas soup
In a saucepan, soften 150gm onions in the butter. Add ½ litre vegetable broth along with 150gm potato; and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potato is tender. Add 500gm peas and vegetable stock, bring to a boil. Simmer for about 2 minutes. In a blender, put ice cubes, purée the soup until smooth and then strain. Add 120ml cream, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and serve it cold. Garnish with croutons and chervil along with truffle oil.
By Chef Rahul Khoila, Brew Buddy, Gurugram
Chilled tender coconut gazpacho
Cut small dices of 50gm of each carrots, cucumber and bell pepper. Scoop out the water and clean the coconut shell in order to use it as a serving shell. Now, blend chopped vegetables and add 2gm black pepper, 1gm fresh basil, 10ml olive oil and 10ml white wine. Blend again and then keep it in the fridge. After it’s chilled, pour the soup in the coconut shell. Garnish and serve.