Despite its reputation as winter fare, an expertly crafted soup may be the best canvas for summer's pure, clean, vegetal flavors. Just think about a crisp, vibrant gazpacho, and you get the drift. Here, some of our favorite summer soups that capture the freshness of the season. Grab a spoon and dig in.
1) Baker and Banker's Brentwood corn soup with rock shrimp hush puppy and chervil oil
Chef Jeff Baker's favorite corn on the planet is from Brentwood, CA—hence this soup, which gets a marked sweetness from corn, and Southern flavor from rock shrimp-studded cornmeal dumplings.
2) Luella's chilled Catalan gazpacho
Chef Ben De Vries likes this bright fresh tomato-based start to a summer meal. Plum tomatoes get an added kick from red, green and yellow bell peppers, garlic and cucumber, plus added thickness from a secret technique: bread, pureed into the broth.
3) Zare at Fly Trap's chilled Persian yogurt soup
A summertime favorite at Zare, this soup's base is chilled lowfat Greek yogurt enhanced with toasted walnuts, rose petals, cucumber, sumac and mint. Food & Wine has the recipe if you'd like to try it at home.
4) Frances' white corn soup
Chef Melissa Perello likes to switch up the garnish on this summer menu staple. Last week, the corn soup came with a killer topping of salmon belly, dill and creme fraiche. You'll often see it topped with fresh-picked Dungeness crab and shishito and padron peppers. "The grilled peppers lend a smokey tone, and the crab plays off the sweetness of the soup," says Perello.
5) Perbacco's Minestra Genevra
This traditional summer soup of the Liguria region of Italy is a staple on chef Staffan Terje's lunch and dinner menus. A liberal garnish of pounded Italian basil brings all the flavors together for a light-yet-hearty way to begin a meal.
What are your favorite summertime soups?