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home : lifestyle : food   May 24, 2016

7/9/2014 10:44:00 AM
Chill out with cold soup

Carrot Coconut Lime Soup

Serves 8
602 calories per serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chili paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
7 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir and cook the chili paste, cumin and cilantro until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ginger, onion and garlic, cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Pour in vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are soft.
Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Working in batches, puree soup in blender or food processor until smooth.

Serve hot or chilled, garnished with the remaining cilantro.

University of Delaware Extension


Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter

Soup is normally a dish best served like coffee: hot.

But there is iced coffee, and there is cold soup.

In the height of summer heat, why not try soup chilled down?

When presented as “cold soup,” the prospect might sound objectionable. That’s why cold soups are alternatively labeled as “chilled soups.”

There are classic chilled soups like borscht (beets), gazpacho (tomato), cucumber and Vichyssoise (leek and potato). One of these has a 100-year-old history. Chef Louis Diat at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New York is widely credited for inventing vichyssoise in 1913 by combining potatoes, leeks, onions and cream.

Like hot soups, vichyssoise and other chilled soups leave plenty of room for invention and improvisation. At Uptown Grill in La Salle, vichyssoise takes a twist and brings in asparagus, spinach, cream, lemon and mint.

“There’s all kinds of variations,” kitchen manager Chris Plankenhorn said.

Uptown embraces chilled soups for summer.

“Gazpacho and vichyssoise are the largest selling cold soups we sell this time of year,” said manager, Ryan Anderes.

Some chilled soups are first cooked and chilled down, and others are chilled upon making. Plankenhorn does both, cooking part of the vichyssoise, chilling it down, and adding uncooked blended ingredients for the final dish.

Cooking can enhance or kill bright spices and flavors. That’s where the knack of the chef comes into play, Plankenhorn said.

“There still has to be flavor,” Anderes said.

Texture can range from chunky gazpacho to smooth cucumber. Chilled soups take garnishes well. Try adding the same ingredients used to make the soup, such as chunks of cucumber in a cucumber soup, Plankenhorn said.

The chilled soup menu has sprouted watermelon, strawberry, asparagus, pineapple, carrot, fennel and avocado versions, to name a few.

At the Lock 16 Café in La Salle, sisters Robin Stokka and Jacque Urnikis whipped up some chilled strawberry soup for the menu.

“The strawberry soup is best served with quiche,” Stokka said.

The ingredients are strawberries, cream, sugar and vanilla, blended, said Urnikis, kitchen manager.

“About a year ago we thought about it and it went over really well,” Urnikis said. “The first weekend we tried it we had to make three batches of the strawberry.”

They plan to soon introduce cucumber soup and gazpacho when cucumbers and tomatoes come into season, she said.

Uptown too has included chilled soups in its repertoire, including melon and strawberry.

“They sell off the charts,” Plankenhorn said.

Fruit soups can be brightened with mint or lemon. And go easy on the sugar.

“Not too sweet,” Plankenhorn said. “It’s not a dessert.”

The same goes for cream, a common ingredient in chilled soups.

“When you’re putting in that cream, you don’t want a lot,” Plankenhorn said.

Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or

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