Cold soup just sounds wrong, but on a hot day it can be so right. Take the classic French soup Vichyssoise, for example.
Potato and leek soup sounds like traditional country fare, made using cheap, plentiful ingredients. This may indeed be how it began life, back in the Auvergne region where it was first made.
So far, so ordinary – until the idea came to process the soup until smooth and serve it cold. Instant sophistication.
In his book My French Kitchen, TV chef Michel Roux Jr recommends serving it with a little island of crème fraîche and chives. This makes the soup extraordinary, he says.
The other, more common recommendation is to add a little caviar when serving.
That sounds delicious too. Mind you, in his book Michel Roux Jr also recommends a soupe à l’ail et aux amandes – a white almond and garlic soup – that uses piment d’Espelette, a smoky hot spice made from dried chilli peppers in the Basque region of south west France.
So that’s two cold soups to have. I just hope the hot weather lasts long enough for me to have both.