I can’t believe I’m saying this but there comes a point, and I think my thermostat is set higher than most, where it is too hot for soup. Well, in the middle of the day at least; I think soup makes a great light dinner in the summer months. Anyway, this is where cold soup comes in: nutritional value and the comfort of a meal in a bowl without the uncomfortable heat from making and eating other soups.
My favourite cold soup will always be gazpacho served in a glass over ice, inextricably linked as it is for me to memories of hot summers in Mallorca and trips to Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia. It’s also quite close my favourite cocktail: a
bloody virgin Mary.
That said, I’ve been on the lookout for a new cold soup to add to my repertoire and came across this gem which I modified a bit. It’s much more subtle than gazpacho and has a delicate, creamy flavour. It is full of healthy fats (avocado) and the cream replacement in the non-dairy version (tofu) gives it a great protein boost and makes it really satisfying. By all means use cream if you’re terrified of tofu, but I urge you to give it a go. You won’t be able to taste it, and as my husband says, it doesn’t taste of much anyway! I was also a little nervous about cold chicken stock but I needn’t have been. I dissolved a knorr stockpot in a small amount of boiled water and then made up the full quantity with cold water. I thought it might separate or go a bit greasy but it didn’t.
A final note: cold soup is not for everyone, particularly, it would seem, my 2 year old daughter. She had a marginal preference for gazpacho which was met with “hmmm, cold soup orange” but this was rejected outright. It might not be one for toddlers!
1 tbsp lemon juice
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh chives plus extra to garnish
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
450 ml cold chicken stock (see above)
200 ml cold water plus 100g tofu (or 300ml single cream)
Seasoning to taste
Put the tofu and water into a blender and mix then add all other ingredients and process to a smooth puree.
Transfer to a bowl and chill for at least 1 hour. Taste and season as required.
When serving, garnish with more chives and cream or yoghurt if desired. Some might like to add Worcestershire sauce to taste.