There's nothing in the world that's better than a piping hot French onion soup with a beautiful glass of Italian Dolcetto from Piedmonte, but that doesn't work so well when it's 5,000 degrees outside (disclaimer: that's not the actual temperature, but rather an estimate). It's no secret that we love our She-Crab soup down here, too, but there are many cool alternatives in the summertime. Instead of the melty, gooey, creamy fabulousness that is a proper hot soup, let's cool it down and look at some of the best cold soups that Charleston has to offer. It's a perfect way to celebrate the first day of summer!
Cold Cucumber definitely seems to be the most popular of the cold soups around town and it shows up on many menus, but FIG's Chilled Cucumber soup with blue crab toast and basil gets the most mentions by far. When available, they use the diva cucumber, a smaller cuke with dark, thin green flesh and a small seed cage. The skin adds color without bitterness and the lack of seeds keep the soup from being too watery. The crabs come from Kimberly's Crabs.
Another place that kept coming up on the search for cold soup was Fast & French, aka Gaulart & Maliclet. Blended to order so that it is always fresh, this soup has the perfect tang and is never, ever watery. It's also well-priced at only $3.15 per cup.
Last on the cucumber list, but not least, The Macintosh serves a cold cucumber soup as a starter on their brunch menu. Priced at $9, the soup is served with compressed cucumber ribbons and Marcona almonds. That's the most interesting description so far.
Lest you believe that cucumber is your only cold soup option in town, The Grocery is serving a delicious sounding Chilled Melon soup with spicy crab salad and lime cream. Apparently crab salad goes well with cold soup as that seems to be a trend.
If you're in Mt. Pleasant, head to Carter's Kitchen for their Gazpacho with shrimp toast and goat cheese. Goat cheese and shrimp toast could be served with anything in the world and sound delicious, so this one falls into the "must eat soon" category. This version is also $9.
Finally, a special mention goes to Martha Lou's for their Okra soup. Now, this soup isn't served cold, but @_Mark_S tweets that leftover okra soup should definitely get an honorable mention as a must-try cold soup in Charleston. Sadly for Mark, he also tweets #neveranyleftover #ever.
Happy eating and stay cool.