When the summer season rolls around, the first thing many of us do is reach for the central air control or our AC units. But how about beating the heat in a different way? Soup might not be the first thing a person thinks of in the dead heat of summer (we don't blame them) however, by definition, soup doesn't need to be served hot. We're not talking about cracking open a can of Campbell's and going to town with a spoon; rather, we're talking about making a chilled soup, specifically.

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It might come as a surprise to know that many countries have their own versions of a cold soup, and any one of them has the power to convert seasonal soup lovers. From the fresh veggie flavors of Spain to the slightly sweet brightness of Poland, these cold soups will have anyone wishing those hot summer days would last, just so we could enjoy these for longer.

Gazpacho

By far one of the most popular and well-known of the cold soups, gazpacho is Spain's glorious rendition of what happens when vegetables, in their peak, are seasoned and pureed together. Starting with a base of tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, bell peppers, and chopped herbs are added to the mix.

To that, vinegar is added to give the soup a bite and unite all of those delicious fresh flavors and, if desired, a splash (or several) of hot sauce. Some recipes call for jalapeños as well, and each one varies based on what's in season and which flavors a person wants to play up more.

Borscht

First of all, this Eastern European soup is beautiful on its own. The color of this soup, thanks to the abundance of beets that are used to make it, is second to none and absolutely eye-catching. Similar to gazpacho, apple cider vinegar is also used in this soup to balance out and bring together the flavor of cooked beets.

 

There's a bold sweetness to them but also a hearty earthiness that all root vegetables possess, and all of these flavors play unbelievably well together.

Mul Naengmyeon

Mul naengmyeon is an interesting soup because not only is it served chilled, but it's often served with ice, as well. This Korean soup is made with buckwheat noodles which give it tons of flavor on its own, spicy cucumber, vinegar, and sweet Asian pear.

Similar to how one would dress up a hot noodle dish or a ramen bowl, the soup is often served with toppings, and diners can pick and choose what they want to add. The result is a soup that hits every note from sweet to savory, with a nice umami finish on the end.

Tart Rhubarb Soup

This soup, which is popular in Iceland, is a nice change from the pie that we always see rhubarb used in. According to Global Table Adventure, this soup is akin to if rhubarb and lemonade had an 'offspring.' So, we'll take those odds!

It's suggested that this soup get topped with a heaping of whipped cream on top, and who are we to judge? With something so perfectly tart and sweet, it's no wonder this is so popular during Icelandic summers.

Chilled Cherry Soup

This Hungarian favorite has a deep, deep red color that's somewhat of a cross between borscht and gazpacho, but its flavor is altogether unique.

The soup starts with a base of cherries, cinnamon, and wine, so not only does it taste incredible but the scent of it is altogether evocative of every good holiday. This soup also gets topped with a dollop of whipped cream and is another perfect example of tart and sweet, with deep, robust flavors to boot.

Cucumber Soup

Understandably, cucumbers don't have very much flavor on their own which makes this soup a bit of a head-scratcher, initially. However, cucumber and dill is a winning combination that shouldn't be underestimated (thing tzatziki) and they're also what make this soup what it is.

Cool, refreshing, and subtle are the words that can best describe a bowl of this, with the perfect amount of fresh herbiness from the dill. It's a favorite in Bulgaria!

Coco-Mango Soup

In Guyana, this soup is beyond satisfying. The base of the soup starts with - you guessed it - freshly pureed mango, which serves as an uber-sweet base for the rest of its delicious flavors.

To that mango, fresh yogurt, coconut milk, and honey are added, making a heavenly flavor profile that's somewhere in between a breakfast meal, dessert, and an actual cold soup. It's also super easy to make which only adds to the love so many people have for this dish.

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