I made what are probably the two most famous cold soups: gazpacho and vichyssoise. Gazpacho is a cold soup of fresh vegetables, generally with a tomato base. It originated in the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal). Vichyssoise is a cold soup of leeks, onions, potatoes and cream. It's origin is disputed, but most likely was the creation of a French chef working in the US around the turn of the 20th century. The gazpacho was vegan, the vichyssoise was decidedly not.
The gazpacho I made was inspired by this recipe by Ina Garten of the Food Network. I used mixed vegetable juice (V8 and a store brand of the same type) as the base, and added fresh cluster tomatoes, cucumber, red and green bell pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. I find it greatly refreshing on1 a hot day. I love the crispness of the uncooked vegetables.
My vichyssoise recipe is based on this one. It is leaks, onions, and potatoes cooked in chicken stock, then pureed. There is actually less potato than one would think. It's just enough to provide some body to the pureed soup. Cold cream is added right before service. It has, thanks to the cream, a rich and luscious mouth feel. The flavor of the onions and leaks shines through, making this a very flavorful soup.
Gazpacho1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and fine diced
1 large yellow onion, fine diced
1 red bell pepper, fine diced
1 green bell pepper, fine diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups mixed vegetable juice (V8 or equivalent)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large container, mix together cucumber, onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir in vinegar and oil. Add juice; vegetables should just barely be covered. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chill in refrigerator for at least three hours, and preferably over night.
Vichyssoise2 leeks, tough greens removed, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 oz. by wt. peeled diced potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. by vol. chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy pot over medium heat, sweat onion and leaks in olive oil until tender. Add chicken stock and potatoes, simmer until potatoes are just tender. Use an immersion blender to puree vegetables. When smooth, add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until cold.
Right before service, stir in cream.