Summer Menu: Chilled Soups + Cold Cocktails

As you already may have guessed, I love to cook and entertain! It’s been quite hot recently, so I’m looking for some relief with nice cold drinks and refreshing cold soups filling my summer menu that pair well with a summer dinner on the porch.

Cool down this summer by putting a ruby red grapefruit margarita on your summer menu

As is appropriate for the summer, I’m definitely going to be making some margaritas for my girlfriends! A twist on the classic lime, this Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita is refreshing and delicious!


1 lime, cut in wedges

Kosher salt

1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice

½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)

1 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec

2 cups ice

1 cup white tequila


If you like a salt rim on the glass, rub a lime around the edge of the glass and then dip the rim of each glass lightly in a plate of kosher salt.  Set aside to dry. Combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and ice in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a large pitcher and stir in tequila.  If you are not serving the margaritas in salted glasses, stir in ¼ tsp of salt into the pitcher of margaritas.

Serve ice cold.

Try an apple orange sipper on your summer menu this weekend

I’m also super excited to try this Apple Orange Sipper. It’s non-alcoholic, and the cinnamon adds a nice unexpected kick! This is definitely a drink I’ll be serving to guests for the rest of the summer.


3 cups water

1 Tbs sugar

4 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 can 6-oz orange concentrate

1 can 6-oz apple concentrate

1 Tbs grenadine

1 32-oz bottle club soda


Combine 1 cup water with the sugar, spices in a small pan.  Simmer 15 minutes and remove spices. Combine frozen juices, remaining water, and grenadine syrup.  Add spiced liquid.  Pour in club soda.  Serve over ice cubes and garnish with fresh mint.

Summer menu - try a gazpacho crab soup

This recipe absolutely makes my mouth water! There’s nothing that screams summer like gazpacho and seafood, so why not put them together? The chili flakes add a great kick that really brings together a unique combination of flavors.


1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and seeded

3 Tbs tomato paste

2 garlic gloves, halved

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

Crushed red chili flakes to taste

½ tsp sugar

1-¼ cups cold water, divided use

Freshly ground pepper

½ peeled cucumber, cut in pieces

Crème fraîche, for topping

1 bunch chives, chopped

Crab Topping

For Crab Topping

½ stick unsalted butter

1 1-lb container of lump crab meat


In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oil, vinegar, chili flakes, sugar, half the water, ½ tsp salt, pepper, and cucumber.  Blend at maximum speed 30 seconds or until smooth.  Stir in remaining water.  Taste and add salt as needed.  To serve, top with a dollop of crème fraîche, chives, and Crab Topping.

Instructions for Crab Topping

Melt the butter in a nonstick pan on medium-high heat.  Add crab and sauté, stirring, until heated through and sweet.

Try a chilled corn soup on your summer menu

No-cook, chilled, blender soups are so quick to make that it almost feels like cheating! They’re so great for those days when you want to serve up something delicious, but not too difficult to make. This is absolutely being added to my summer menu rotation.

This one stars sweet corn that’s been tarted up with buttermilk and lime juice, spiced with garlic and scallion, and imbued with fresh herbs.  While straining it isn’t necessary, it will give you a smoother, more elegant soup.  Serve this in espresso cups or shot glasses for an hors d’oeuvre, or in bowls for a first course.


Yields 4 appetizer servings, or 6 to 8 servings as an hors d’oeuvre.

3 ears corn, shucked

1-½ cups buttermilk

½ cup basil leaves, plus a little more for garnish

3 scallions, roughly chopped

1 Tbs fresh lime juice, more to taste

1 fat garlic glove, roughly chopped

¾ tsp fine sea salt

Radish slices for garnish

Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish


Slice kernels off corn cobs, which should yield 3 to 3-½ cups. Place kernels in the blender. Add buttermilk, basil scallions, lime juice, garlic, salt and 1/3 cup ice cubes to the blender until very smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing down hard on the solids. Serve soup garnished with radish slices and a drizzle of olive oil.

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