The words summer soup recipe may make you think immediately of gazpacho, but there are lots more options, from corn chowder to seasonal veggie minestrone.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, these are some of our favorite summer soup recipes to highlight the best of the season’s produce.
Sweet summer corn is not just for eating off the cob, or shaving into salads. Paired with potatoes, bacon, chives, and dairy, it makes a perfectly creamy bowl of goodness that’s not too heavy to make you sweat (at least not any more than you already are). Get our Summer Corn Chowder recipe.
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For something with a bit more kick, this corn soup adds smoky, spicy chipotle. It’s a bit simpler too, without bacon or potatoes, so if you want minimal distractions from the sweet summer star, this is the one for you. Get our Chipotle Corn Soup recipe.
Speaking of peak summer produce, peaches are one of the most iconic (and delicious) fruits you can eat in season—so finding ways to do so beyond the usual pies and crumbles is of paramount importance. Turns out, they make an amazing gazpacho with almonds, cucumbers, and peppers. But don’t use overripe peaches, because you want their acidity along with their lush sweetness. Get Daniel Humm’s Peach Gazpacho recipe.
Related Reading: 16 Sweet & Savory Peach Recipes for Summer
Not to be outdone by stone fruit, ripe watermelon is another great base for summer gazpacho. We like to garnish with an emerald-green fresh basil oil (perfect if you have an overflowing herb garden), but pickled watermelon rinds make for a great no-waste option that’s super tasty too. Get our Watermelon Gazpacho recipe.
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Of course, the usual suspect when it comes to gazpacho, tomatoes are still the best of all summer fruits. While it’s tempting to combine a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes in one bowl (and that works beautifully for a salad), using many different shades in a soup will make it muddy; blending a single color family will give it the most vibrant hue (but a contrasting color tomato makes a striking garnish). Get our Tomato Gazpacho recipe.
A bright green blend of refreshing cucumbers, silky avocado, and probiotic-packed kefir, this cold summer soup manages to be both rich and light. Fresh mint makes a fantastic complement with its further cooling flavor. Drizzle with a grassy or peppery olive oil as you please for the perfect finishing touch. Get the Chilled Avocado, Cucumber, and Kefir Soup recipe.
Related Reading: The Best No-Cook Recipes for Sweltering Summer Days
This carrot soup is equally good served chilled or warm, though when chilled it might need a little thinning out with additional vegetable stock or water. It’s made with coconut milk instead of cream, which not only pairs perfectly with the warm spices, but makes it vegan too. Get our Curried Carrot Soup recipe.
Ready for some hot stuff? Countless tropical countries’ cuisine famously features hot soups and other dishes (both in terms of temperature and sometimes also spicing), which are happily slurped up even in the most oppressive weather. This ultra-fast take on Vietnamese pho isn’t spicy (unless you add a lot of chiles or Sriracha for garnish), but it is served steaming. So yes, it will make you break a sweat, but in turn that will help cool you down. No judgment if you want to enjoy it in an air conditioned room, though. Get our Quick Chicken Pho recipe. (Or try a vegetarian version, or one with quick-cooking shrimp.)
This Japanese-inspired bowl of noodles can also be enjoyed hot, but it’s just as good when chilled. (Check out even more cold noodle soups and salads if you’re new to trying them this way.) The Napa cabbage lends a delicate crunch, but you can use whatever sturdy greens are most abundant in your CSA delivery box or crisper drawer. Get our Miso Soup with Napa Cabbage and Udon recipe.
San Francisco’s most famous soup is a perfect opportunity to throw your favorite fish and shellfish into the same pot, for a true summer seafood feast. Clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops often show up in the tomato-heavy broth, but you truly can mix and match as you please. Get our Cioppino recipe.
Related Reading on CNET: The Best Places to Buy Seafood Online Right Now
For a simpler and creamier seafood option, a classic New England clam chowder is always a smart move. And cheaper than a lobster roll, that’s for sure (yet just as evocative of the east coast). Get our Clam Chowder recipe.
This is full of enough protein (from chicken, sausage, and cannellini beans) to work as a hearty winter warmer, but the base is brothy, keeping it surprisingly light. Plus, it stars tender summer squash and makes perfect use of all that basil before it wilts. Feel free to cut back on the meat. And if you have a parmesan rind, toss it in the pot for extra flavor. Get our Pesto Chicken White Bean Soup recipe.
This is a similar soup that’s lighter on the meat—and can be totally vegetarian if you omit the chicken and swap in vegetable broth. It highlights both sweet summer corn and prime zucchini, and is bulked up with whole grains (farro here, but you can use brown rice if you like). Get the Instant Pot Summer Soup recipe.
Related Reading: Stress-Free Summer Instant Pot Recipes for Easy Meals
This vegetable soup can include a veritable garden of ingredients from green beans to fresh corn (like this slow cooker minestrone recipe). Our version is pared down, but feel free to add in other veggies that you have—just wait to throw the most tender and delicate ones in the pot last. Small pasta like ditalini is often added for heft, but for cheese lovers, tortellini makes a real treat. Get our Vegetable Minestrone with Tortellini recipe.
More Ways to Showcase a Summer Produce Surplus
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