Soup isn’t just for stormy nights or chilly winter afternoons. Add in a cool factor and make a Cold Soup Bar for your next picnic or party. Cold soups are both scrumptious and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. From smooth fruity concoctions to savory vegetable bases, the options for nourishing and delightful cold soups are myriad.
Creating a Cold Soup Bar can be as simple or extravagant as you like, and it all starts with the soup. Wow your guests with a selection of sumptuous savory soups such as creamy Lobster Bisque, silky Cream of Asparagus, or velvety Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup. Serve them in separate tureens and provide extra bowls or cups so your guests can sample all the delectable creations you have on offer.
If simplicity is more in line with your vision, stick to a vegetarian option such as Gazpacho or Chilled Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup so all your guests can indulge regardless of their dietary needs. Be sure to include a luscious fruit soup for dessert such as Chilled Cantaloupe + Peach Soup or Fresh Berry Soup.
The key to a great cold soup bar is a tempting array of toppings and stir-ins that can be added to the soup to both personalize and enhance the fragrance and flavor.
Offer small bowls of crispy fried onions, toasted nuts, and crumbled or grated cheeses such as Feta or Parmesan. Add a variety of fresh vegetables including finely diced fresh bell pepper and cucumber, thinly sliced snow peas and scallions, and cubed avocado dressed in lemon juice. A selection of fresh herbs is essential. Dill, Italian parsley, and lemon thyme are excellent options. Finish off with a few bottles of Worcestershire sauce and flavored olive oil and vinegars to add a dash of zing and pizzazz.
For the chilled fruit soups, offer crumbled ginger cookies, dollops of sweetened whipped cream or crème fraiche, and finely chopped pieces of crystallized ginger, dark chocolate, and toasted nuts such as almond, hazelnut, or macadamia.
Chilled Tomato Soup
- 10 roma tomatoes, halved
- 1 head of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20-30 minutes until garlic is soft. Allow to cool.
Puree with chicken broth until smooth. Serve chilled with a sprinkling of fresh dill.
While your tempting cold soups and dazzling array of toppings will be beautiful on their own, add splashes of color by providing a mismatched collection of brightly colored mugs instead of soup bowls for your guests to eat from.
Arrange your cold soup bar atop a cheery patterned tablecloth that blends well with the colors of your crockery, and set your table outside in the shade of a spreading tree where blue skies and sun-dappled grass will provide a beautiful backdrop for your party. Instead of decorating the soup bar with floral arrangements, bunting, or streamers, fill cups or bottles with generous bouquets of fresh herbs in a whimsical display that is not only fragrant and beautiful, but also edible.
Encourage your guests to make numerous trips to the cold soup bar, experimenting with toppings and stir-ins until they have a bowl of chilled soup that makes their heart sing.