Keep It Cool


Three of our favorite chilled soups to help you beat the heat this summer.

2 pounds vine-ripened red heirloom tomatoes, seeded, flesh diced small (save the juice)
1 pound vine-ripened yellow heirloom tomatoes, seeded, flesh diced small
2 small Kirby cucumbers, seeded and diced small (skins on)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced small 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
2 ½ cups unseasoned tomato juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
⅓ cup sherry wine vinegar
⅔ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
½ handful fresh cilantro, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
½ lemon, juiced
3 slices day old French bread, crusts removed (using a food processor, pulse into fine bread crumbs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Good quality smoked olive oil

Combine all ingredients except bread, salt and pepper, and olive oil in a large, non-reactive bowl (such as glass). Stir carefully so as not to crush the vegetables. Fold in bread crumbs and stir again.

Finish with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours. Rest soup at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with a drizzle of smoked olive oil.

Serves 4-6


Chilled Fig and Almond Soup

8 ounces almonds
5 ½ ounces white bread
approximately 13 ounces cold water
7 ounces olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons lemon oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse almonds, bread and garlic in food processor. Add water with motor running. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and sherry vinegar. Chill. Pour soup into bowl and add quartered figs. Drizzle with lemon oil.

Serves 2-4


Blackberry Soup with Lemon Olive Oil Cake Crouton & Sweet Corn Ice Cream

4 cups blackberries
2 cups water
1 cup crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
½ lemon, juiced
1 2-inch strip of orange zest
1 clove
1 stick cinnamon
¼ cup cream

In a medium saucepan, simmer all ingredients except cream until the berries are very soft. Discard the clove, cinnamon and orange. Purèe the soup and pass through a fine sieve to remove all seeds. Chill. Before serving, mix cream in well then pour the soup into a decorative pitcher. In individual serving bowls, place a lemon olive oil cake crouton on the bottom and add a quenelle or scoop of sweet corn ice cream on top. Present the bowls and then pour the soup into each bowl at the table. 


For the lemon olive oil cake:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 lemons, zested and juiced
¾ cups extra virgin olive oil
5 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside. Combine lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a measuring cup. In the bowl of a mixer blend the eggs and salt, mixing slowly for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue mixing for 2 minutes. Slowly add the sifted ingredients, then the liquids and vanilla and mix until just combined—do not overmix. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool and slice for croutons (slices can be toasted if you prefer a crisp consistency). 


For the sweet corn ice cream:
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half and half
5 ears of corn, shucked and cut off the cob (reserve the cobs)
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
8 egg yolks

Combine all the liquids in a large stockpot. Add the corn cobs and the kernels to the liquid with the salt. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Discard the cobs, purée the mixture until smooth, strain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk the sugar and vanilla into the eggs, mixing thoroughly. Place over low heat and, while whisking, slowly pour 1 cup of the hot corn liquid into the yolk mixture. Simmer over low heat, stirring continuously, while adding the remaining corn liquid. Cook until the custard has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Chill the custard, and then process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serves 6-8

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum