Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chilled Soups Refreshing during Warm Weather, but Flavour Is Key to Success

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chilled Soups Refreshing during Warm Weather, but Flavour Is Key to Success

Article excerpt

Chilled soups refreshing during warm weather

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LONDON, Ont. - Based on the general conception of soup, "chilled soup" is something of an oxymoron.

Real soup is warming, hearty and comforting, not cold. But there are lots of good words to describe chilled soup as well -- refreshing, flavourful, hydrating, easy to make, even fruity.

"They're two totally different things," says food writer Lucy Waverman, who is the author of eight cookbooks including last fall's "The Flavour Principle: Enticing Your Senses With Food and Drink" (HarperCollins Canada).

"I make cold soups a lot in the summer because I like to start a dinner party off with something refreshing. There are so many combinations and interesting flavours that you can use in the summer. I'm very keen on cold soups."

Holistic nutritionist and cookbook author Joy McCarthy of Toronto is also a fan of chilled soup.

"I find that usually chilled soups are really fast and simple, with fewer ingredients. It's a matter of just throwing three, four, five ingredients into a blender and then you have your soup immediately," she says.

You can eat it right away or chill it for a couple of hours, says McCarthy, whose first cookbook, "Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting" (Penguin Canada), was released in January.

Not all chilled soups can be made that fast, of course. Some vegetable-based soups require the vegetables to be steamed, boiled or roasted before being combined with other ingredients and some fruit soups require time on the stove before being blended and chilled.

Vegetables and fruits are generally the stars of cold soups. Meats are seldom found in them, except perhaps in the form of a prosciutto or shrimp garnish. But in terms of the bases used to make them, their versatility certainly rivals their winter cousins.

Depending on the type of soup, bases can include milk, cream, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, nut milks such as almond or coconut, hemp milk, fruit juices, vegetable juices, wine (still or sparkling), other liquors, tomatoes or water.

Since almost all chilled soups are pureed, "the texture might be creamier, but it doesn't mean it has cream in it," the Toronto-based Waverman says.

"Flavour" is the key to successful chilled soup, she says.

"When you chill anything, it loses flavour, so you have to start with things that are really flavourful.

"You can add things like Thai curry paste or Indian curry pastes into them. …

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