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Colorado Springs chefs chill out with cold soups on hot summer days

July 9, 2013 Updated: July 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm
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ith the dry, warm days of summer upon us, it's hard to find the energy to leave the couch, much less conjure up a hot meal.

But with all of the fresh produce at farmers markets, it's the perfect time to dazzle yourself and others with easy-to-prepare cold soups.

Fewer soups could be simpler to prepare than gazpacho. This classic, Spanish-style summer soup is made with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and tossed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and a dash of garlic - it's like a salad in a tureen.

Soups are the backbone of the lunch menu at The Margarita at PineCreek. When the temperature heats up, The Margarita subs out one of its hot soup choices for a cooler soup.

"We make cold soups quite often throughout the summer," said Cathy Werle, the kitchen manager. "On these ridiculously hot days, it's our saving grace and the customers think so also."

Gazpacho is The Margarita's most popular cold soup. Its version is an old recipe of co-owner Pati Burleson.

"Making a full-flavored broth is the key," Werle said. "The crispy vegetables are an added bonus and, to jazz it up more, we like to add diced avocado on top and even some chilled shrimp or crab."

The tomato-based soup is served Tuesdays through Thursdays during the summer. Another of The Margarita's chilled soups is vichyssoise, which is served every Friday during the summer.

"Potatoes, leeks and cream served chilled is quite refreshing," Werle said.

Jay Gust, executive chef at Tapateria and Pizzeria Rustica, makes a version of gazpacho that is blended until it's smoother than traditional versions such as Werle's. Then he serves it in a small glass, almost like a shot glass, where it easily can be sipped. Since it doesn't require a spoon, it makes for a great appetizer.

Steve Weber, executive chef at Garden of the Gods Club, wowed attendees at a summer fashion show luncheon with his chilled Avocado Soup with Cucumber Pico di Gallo Canape. It was just the ticket on that warm day.

The pale green, creamy mixture was the right balance of avocado, garlic and cilantro. The canap?provided a crunchy texture with a fresh tomato, onion, cucumber and peach topping that complemented the soup perfectly.

Other foods lend themselves to cold soups as well, and like salad, you can get pretty creative with these recipes.

Need to use up the other half of that watermelon? Try making some watermelon soup. Got some leftover spinach? Make it into a cold soup.



With Cucumber Pico di Gallo Canape, recipe below

Yield: 4 servings

1 avocado

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 clove garlic

10 cilantro leaves

Salt and white pepper to taste

Chicken stock to consistency


Puree avocado, buttermilk, garlic, and cilantro in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender. Add chicken stock until the consistency of heavy cream is reached. Chill until very cold.

Source: Steve Weber, executive chef at Garden of the Gods Club



Yield: 4 servings

Brioche or sourdough bread sliced thin

18 cup brunoised cucumber

1/8 cup brunoised tomato, seeded

1/8 cup brunoised red onion

1/8 cup brunoised fresh peach

1 tablespoon parsley chiffonade Whole cilantro leaves for garnish Buttermilk in a squeeze bottle (optional)


Cutone 1-inch circles or little triangles out of the sliced bread and toast in the oven until browned and dry.

Mix the cucumber, tomato, red onion, peach and parsley and top the toast with the mixture.

Garnish the canap?with one good-looking cilantro leaf.

Fill martini glasses to within half an inch of the rim with Avocado Soup and draw back and forth lines on the top with the buttermilk in a squeeze bottle. Draw back and forth the opposite way through the lines with a toothpick to make a nice design.

Float a canap?on the top a bit off center and serve.

Source: Steve Weber, executive chef at Garden of the Gods Club



Yield: 8 servings

2 cups peeled and diced (14-inch) hothouse cucumber

2 cups diced (1/4-inch) red bell pepper

2 cups diced (1/4-inch) ripe tomato

1/2 cup diced (1/4-inch) red onion

2 cups tomato juice

1/2 cup red-wine vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 dashes Tabasco sauce


Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the contents. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.

Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours before serving.




Yield: 5 servings

2 leeks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup thinly sliced potatoes

2 1/3 cups chicken stock

Salt, ground black pepper to taste

1 1/8 cups heavy whipping cream


Gently sweat the chopped leeks and the chopped onion in butter or margarine until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add potatoes and stock to the saucepan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Cool. Gently stir in the cream before serving.




Yield: 6 servings

6 cups cubed ripe melon

1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber

6 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion green, plus 1 whole scallion, divided

1 jalape? pepper, plus more to taste

1 cup cold water

1 2-inch-by-1/2-inch strip orange zest

1/2 cup orange juice, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, or mint for garnish

6 teaspoons plain yogurt, or creme fraiche for garnish


Dice enough melon to measure 1 cup and combine in a small bowl with cucumber, 2 tablespoons lime juice and scallion green. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the soup.

Place the remaining melon and 4 tablespoons lime juice in a blender. Chop the whole scallion and seed and chop jalape?; add to the blender along with water, orange zest, orange juice, ginger and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lime juice, jalape? and-or orange juice, if desired.

Refrigerate the soup until chilled, 2 hours.

Stir the reserved diced melon mixture and divide among 4 soup bowls. Pour the soup into the bowls. Garnish each serving with cilantro (or mint) and yogurt (or creme fra?he), if using.


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