Recipe: Chilled Buttermilk Soup for Hot Summer Days

updated May 12, 2022
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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

When summer’s heat arrives, it’s hard to to think of preparing, much as less eating, hot food. We want something cool, quick and refreshing. We also want to use the fresh bounty that starts filling our grocery stores, farmer’s markets and back-yard gardens.

This soup couldn’t be simpler: just cold buttermilk, a couple of chopped tomatoes and some basil. It can even be made with pesto, if opening a jar sounds easier than snipping a few basil leaves. This is the essence of summer: simple, cooling and quite delicious!

Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Tomato and Basil
serves 2

3 cups chilled buttermilk, well-shaken
1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed with a microplane
1 cup chopped fresh garden tomatoes
1 green onion, white and some of the green part, thinly sliced
3 or 4 basil leaves, slivered

Place buttermilk in a bowl, add garlic and stir. Add tomatoes and onion and stir gently. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with basil leaves. A few nasturtium blossoms or Johnny-jump-up’s would be a nice garnish.

If you use jarred pesto, omit the garlic and basil and dollop the pesto on top of the soup just before serving.

Related: Seasonal Spotlight: Edible Flowers

(Image: Dana)