This week in garde manger we learned about cold soups and how they’re applied in the kitchen. Cold soups come from all over the world and are very versatile. The soups we made were Gazpacho, Vichyssoise, Roasted tomato soup, and cold borscht.
The gazpacho hails generally from Spain. A cold soup of pureed tomatoes and cucumbers and other seasonings. Our gazpacho however favored more cucumber flavor than anything in the profile. Our hypothesis was that perhaps we got an extremely ripe cucumber that dominated the soup. We tried balancing it with tomato juice but then it became to acidic and the true gazpacho flavor was lost.
The vichyssoise was a cold onion and leek soup thickened with potatoes. A very classic dish that even cold was light, refreshing and flavorful. We knew seasoning was important since flavor would be less due to the temperature of the soup. However; we overcompensated a bit and it came out a bit too salty.
Roasted tomato soup was a vegetable pureed soup where first the tomatoes are peeled, seeded and roasted to really bring out the flavor in the beautiful roma tomatoes. The soup relies heavily on the quality of the main ingriedient and not the seasonings. It came out a bit salty as did the vichyssoise, but the flavor of the tomatoes shined through.
Borscht. I had never tried borscht and never have been a fan of beets but I learned that this strange to me soup was actually quite flavorful. The recipe called for raw beets to be simmered in chicken stock until cooked. We received pre cooked beets so our team decided to marinate the beets in a concentrated chicken stock then simmering for roughly 5-10 minutes. We did not want to overcook the beets and have a bitter flavor and this seemed to work really well. It was garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a crouton. In some Russian cuisine this soup I learned is served hot with a puff pastry of lamb.
I had never had or made cold soups before and this was really exciting to experience all these new flavors and an easy summer dish.