How about some refreshment?
11. July 2023
How about ... Soup?
We have created a new collection of cold soup recipes for you!
Cold soups? That's right! Whereas soups are more commonly known as warm dishes in the central and northern regions of Europe, gazpacho was born centuries ago in Spain and Portugal: a cold soup that was originally nothing more than a combination of hard bread scraps, water, oil and vinegar, with a little onion and garlic. A typical meal for the lower class that every family could afford. It was not until the 16th century that tomatoes and peppers found their way into Mediterranean cuisine, which nowadays count as the main ingredients of gazpacho. A meal for the poor that has developed over the centuries into a true classic of Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, adapted all over the world, and constantly evolving.
How Europe eats cold soup
But besides the internationally known gazpacho, there are several other variations - many of which originated here in Europe. Curious?
In Turkey, for example, cucumber or yoghurt soups are extremely popular. Similar to gazpacho, these soups have been consumed for centuries and are loved to this day. In addition to the typical cucumber-yoghurt mixture, the soup is often seasoned with plenty of garlic, and water or milk is added to give it a thinner texture. The origin of cucumber soups in Europe probably lies with the Romans and Greeks, but in fact cucumber-based soups are being consumed worldwide, more so in warmer countries than in others.
In Russia, savoury soups are particularly popular. Ever heard of borsch? It's available as both a hot and a cold dish. A cold soup made from beetroot and sorrel is known either as beetroot kefir soup, as Šaltibarščiai in Lithuania or as Chłodnik in Poland - in general, it is widespread in Eastern Europe. It is rich in vitamins and has a slightly sour but refreshing taste. The sour taste comes from sorrel, a leaf that looks very similar to spinach. Even in Greece and Italy, sorrel was used to add some lightness to heavy dishes. Today, typical borsch recipes contain eggs and lemon juice. The base of the beetroot soup is served with buttermilk, yoghurt, or sour cream, as desired, and finished with finely chopped radishes, chives, cucumber and dill. A light dish that is simply perfect for warm summer days!
Do you prefer it fruitier?
In Central Europe, especially in Hungary and Romania, fruit soups are an absolute hit. As part of the traditional cuisine, the soups are boiled first and then cooled. Similar to a compote. Cherry soup is the most popular variation, but nowadays there are no limits to the variety, so soups can be made especially well from stone fruit such as peaches, plums, of course cherries, and sometimes even apples and pears. Sugar is used minimally, if at all, so that the flavour of the fruit can be fully appreciated. Spices are added with various combinations of cinnamon, vanilla or cloves and often lemon juice to taste. The soup can be diluted with water or wine. Sour cream can be added after the soup has cooled. This type of cold soup is particularly popular as an appetiser or as a snack.
Let the summer come!
Have you discovered cold soups for yourself yet? If not, our new recipes are the perfect opportunity to do so. Try the classic gazpacho with watermelon for an extra dose of summer! Or would you prefer to go in the fruity direction? No problem, we have ideas for all tastes!
Serve the cold soups as a light starter or treat yourself to a large portion as a main meal - either way, they are easy to prepare. All it takes is a blender or a hand blender and - of course - our soy sauces, for that extra kick of umami!