Resfreshing, cold fruit soups

The best recipes for the summer.

Cold beet soup (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Cold beet soup
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
When most people think about soup, an image of a piping-hot bowl of something tasty usually comes to mind. But during the hot summer months, when we run the air conditioning all day long, we can enjoy cold soups by adding an ice cube to a blended soup made with vegetables or fruits.
There are so many different varieties of cold soups that we can prepare – some are a bit sour, while others are spicy or sweet. And you can prepare different textures, using an immersion blender, sometimes leaving chunks of vegetables. You can also prepare the soup based on water, milk, yogurt, cheese or wine, each of which makes a completely different concoction.
In most cases, cold soups should be served extremely cold. In fact, you can even add ice cubes or crushed ice.
Note: It’s important to taste soup after it’s prepared, since sometimes fruits taste different when they’re very cold.
This soup can be blended completely, but I like to leave in some pieces of beets.
Makes 5 servings
5 beets, cooked (if you’re in a hurry, you can purchase precooked vacuum-packed beets)
3 cloves of garlic
1 small spicy green pepper
6-7 chive leaves
Leaves from one sprig of thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ liter yogurt
Serving suggestion:
2 Tbsp. cream
Cut 4 beets into quarters. Cut the remaining beet into small cubes and set aside in a bowl. Put beet quarters in a blender with the garlic, pepper, chives and thyme, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add half of the beet cubes. Add the salt, pepper and yogurt and mix well.
Store in the fridge until serving. Serve with ice cubes. Prepare each bowl with a dollop of cream. Using a spoon, swirl the cream a little on top and then sprinkle with remaining beet cubes. Add thyme pieces and serve very cold.

Makes 6-8 servings
Baking paper
6 medium light green zucchini, washed and sliced into rings
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Slices of bread without crust that have been soaked in water and then drained well
Handful of mint leaves washed and dried (without stems)
Leaves from sprig of thyme
¼ cup natural cashew nuts
2 cloves of garlic
½ tsp. salt or more, to taste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
⅓ cup cold water
½ cup thick yogurt 8 ice cubes
Serving suggestions: Ground black pepper Mint leaves, chopped
Cook zucchini in the oven or microwave until they soften a little.
If you prefer to use an oven, line a tray with baking paper and arrange the slices on the tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil and gently massage it in. Roast zucchini in an oven that has been preheated to 220° for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown and soften. Remove from oven and let cool.
If you’ve chosen to use a microwave, place the zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes (each microwave cooks differently). Cooking zucchini in the oven will give it a deeper taste, whereas zucchini cooked in the microwave will taste more like they’ve been steamed.
Put the zucchini slices in a blender or food processor and add the bread, mint, thyme, cashews, garlic, salt, lemon juice, water and yogurt. Blend well until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add ice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir and adjust seasoning. Season with black pepper and mint leaves. Serve very cold. 
There are many different versions of gazpacho. It’s probably one of the most famous cold soups. Some people blend it until it’s completely smooth, others leave chunks of vegetables. Some add little cubes of hard-boiled egg, cucumber, red onion, red pepper and croutons, and some people like it really hot.
Makes 6 servings
6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 slices of bread without crust, soaked in water for 30 minutes and then squeezed well
2 small cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ tsp. hot pepper paste
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
½ cup coriander or basil (or fresh zaatar)
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. vinegar (best is sherry vinegar)
Serving suggestions:
Ice cubes
Ground black pepper
Red bell pepper, chopped into cubes
Thyme leaves
Olive oil
Chop the tomatoes and put in a blender. Add the bread, garlic, salt, pepper, pepper paste, thyme, and coriander (or basil). Blend. While blending, add the vinegar. Blend for another 5-6 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and add ice cubes. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Can be served with black pepper, thyme and olive oil. Serve very cold.
This traditional Greek soup can be made thick or more diluted.
Makes 6 servings
500 ml. yogurt (preferably goat-milk yogurt, but regular is fine, too)
2 cucumbers, cut into small cubes or grated coarsely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. dill, chopped
Salt, to taste
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Serving suggestions:
½ cup dill or mint, chopped
Ice cubes
1 cup chopped cucumber
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for two hours so that the flavors can intensify. The soup should be served very cold. Add ice cubes and adorn with dill or mint, and cucumber cubes. Serve very cold.
Translated by Hannah Hochner