Taste the Rainbow

Soup’s on! Three supremely delicious and easy-breezy ways to chill out this season.

By Peter Som

The Hamptons’ summer bounty offers a perfect way to beat the heat. The best seasonal vitamin-rich produce demands simple no-fuss dishes that are perfect for a quiet evening alfresco—and these chilled soups are just that. In all three soups, the blender does most of the work—and even better, they can be made a few days ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Just take them out, garnish with some delicious morsels and serve. Classic gazpacho—so deep and ruby red—gets a hit of sweetness with watermelon and the crunch of saffron aioli-slathered bread. Chilled corn soup—vibrant like sunshine—is taken up a notch with lobster and feta, and Titian-orange carrot ginger soup is cool and soothing with a dollop of labneh. Effortless and delicious? Yes. A touch elegant? You bet. So whether it’s date night à deux or an easy family lunch, let’s embrace the big chill this hot August and dip our spoons into something cool, shall we?

A warm baguette pairs well with the cool, tangy gazpacho. Photography by Peter Som

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho With Saffron Aioli Toasts

Serves 4


2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into large pieces

3 cups cubed seedless watermelon

1 medium cucumber

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. chopped red onion

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. lime juice

½ tsp. chili flakes

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for finishing

½ tsp. kosher salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Baguette, sliced and toasted

A mix of soft herbs for garnish such as parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, tarragon

For Saffron Aioli

1 tsp. water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ tsp. saffron threads, crushed

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. lemon zest

¼ tsp. kosher salt


In a blender, combine tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, garlic, red onion, red wine vinegar, lime juice and chili flakes and puree until liquefied. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and blend again until just smooth, with a touch of texture.

Make the aioli: In a small bowl, add water, lemon juice and saffron and let steep 10 minutes. Add garlic, mayonnaise, lemon zest and salt and whisk until smooth. If needed, add more mayonnaise to thicken.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls; finish with olive oil and sea salt and garnish with herbs. Spread saffron aioli onto warm toasts and garnish with herbs.

Fresh lobster and feta bring a delicious kick to this corn soup. Photography by Peter Som

Chilled Corn Soup With Lobster, Avocado and Feta

Serves 4


6 ears yellow corn

9 cups water

5 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup chopped shallot

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celery stalk, sliced

1 leek, white part only, sliced

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. turmeric

1 bay leaf

¾ cup cream or plain yogurt

1 lb. lobster meat, cooked

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

1 cup crumbled feta

Za’atar, for finishing

Flaky sea salt, for finishing

Chives and parsley, for garnish


1. Cut kernels off cobs and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Cut cobs in thirds. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add water and bring to a boil. Add cobs and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, uncovered. Remove cobs; transfer stock to a bowl (you should have about 8 cups) and set aside.

3. Return Dutch oven to stove. Over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add shallot, garlic, celery, leek, salt and pepper and saute until shallots are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add corn kernels and turmeric and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add stock and bay leaf and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cream or yogurt and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.

4. Carefully, and working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to storage containers and refrigerate for 5 hours or longer.

5. To serve, pour soup into shallow bowls; add lobster meat, avocado and feta. Finish with za’atar and sea salt and garnish with chives and parsley.

Grated ginger complements the rich umami flavor of white miso. Photography by Peter Som

Chilled Carrot Ginger Soup With Labneh, Cucumber and Basil

Serves 4


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 small yellow onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2½ cups carrots, medium diced

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 tsp. white miso

1 tsp. kosher salt

2-3 cups vegetable stock

2 Persian cucumbers

½ cup labneh, for finishing

Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

Flaky sea salt, for finishing

Basil leaves, for garnish


1. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onion and sliced garlic until soft, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low and add carrots, ginger, miso and salt and saute until carrots are soft, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Carefully transfer to a blender, add stock 1 cup at a time and blend until smooth and desired consistency is achieved. Transfer to storage containers and refrigerate for 5 hours or longer.

3. Just before serving, use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice cucumbers thinly. To serve, pour soup into bowls, add a dollop of labneh and arrange cucumber slices atop. Finish with a glug of olive oil, basil leaves and flaky sea salt.

For more recipes, visit petersom.com.