Our 5 Favorite Chilled Soups for the Summer

Hope you enjoyed our gorgeous spring, folks. It's summer again, more or less. And there's a lot of it left to go.

Last weekend, even though it was a pleasant 62 degrees outside in New York, I found myself taking solace in a creamy bowl of vichyssoise. Sprinkled with the barest scatter of green onions and smooth except for the lashings of lump crab meat, the chilled soup was neither too heavy nor too insubstantial, striking that crucial balance that one looks for in a summery soup.

Although that vichyssoise was at Grand Central Oyster Bar, Houston has its own summer-set soups to choose from. Here are our five favorites.

5. Gazpacho trio at Tintos

The tres gazpachos here gets you a shot glass each of traditional tomato gazpacho, ajo blanco and cucumber melon for $7.

4. Chilled spring pea soup at Mockingbird Bistro

This bright green soup comes with a pungent splash of truffle oil and -- like the vichyssoise -- plenty of lump crab meat for $10.

3. Leche de tigre shots at Latin Bites

Like Tintos, this is a trio of chilled glasses filled with flavor. However, leche de tigre is not technically soup. It's actually the deeply flavorful liquid left behind from preparing Peruvian-style ceviche, which requires a long marinating period. At Latin Bites, you get limo pepper, aji amarillo pepper and rocoto pepper shooters served in tiny martini glasses.

2. Market soup of the day at Brasserie 19

Right now, that market soup at the newly-minted brasserie is a luscious chilled fennel soup with lemon zest and, yes, blue crab. It's vichyssoise all grown up.

1. Naeng-myun at Korean Noodle House

Most people go to Korean Noodle House for the hot soups, but Korean cuisine offers just as many excellent cold soups as well. The naeng-myun here is both spicy and cool, making it perfect both for the hot days and the hot Houston palate.

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Katharine Shilcutt