Chill Out: Where to Get Yummy (and Healthy!) Cold Soups in Philly

Plus: our recipe for a kick-ass crabmeat gazpacho

As summer starts heating up, no one wants to spend hours slaving away in a hot kitchen at meal times. Enter gazpacho, a traditional chilled Spanish soup and arguably the most perfect summer dish of all time. Light, refreshing and packed with fresh, in-season produce, a bowl of gazpacho could be a delicious lunch entree or a great dinner appetizer—or both.

With little prep time and no oven needed, you can replicate my family’s favorite gazpacho recipe below, adapted (and perfected, might I add) over the years from a recipe in an old issue of Woman’s Day. Bonus: The soup base is super versatile, so you can play around with your own topping mixtures depending on what fresh, summer tastes you’re craving. Sub shrimp for crab meat, add roasted corn, top with tortilla chips or crunchy croutons, or garnish with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta. Not the culinary type? Scroll below the recipe for a list of which restaurants in Philly and down the Shore are serving up both classic and unique chilled soups this summer.

Gazpacho with Crabmeat, Avocado and Lime
Adapted from Woman’s Day, 2002
Serves four

For the soup:
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, chopped
2 cups tomato juice (Note: If you’re watching you’re sodium intake, opt for low-sodium tomato juice)
1/2 cup celery, diced

For the topping:
12 oz crabmeat
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 avocado
1 small green bell pepper
1/2 small red onion
3 tbsp. fresh chives or parsley
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 tbsp. non-fat plain Greek Yogurt


1. Combine roasted red peppers, cucumber, tomato juice and celery in a blender.
2. Blend on medium speed for one minute or until smooth.
3. Pour into a metal bowl and let chill. Set aside.
4. Place crab meat in a large bowl.
5. Cut tomatoes and avocado into 1/2 inch pieces.
6. Finely dice green bell pepper and red onion.
7. Mince chives or parsley.
8. Add all chopped/diced vegetables to large bowl of crab meat.
9. Add lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently with rubber spatula to mix well and coat.

To serve:
1. Set aside 1/2 cup of crab meat topping mixture.
2. Divide remaining crab meat topping mixture between four soup bowls and shape into mound on bottom of each bowl.
3. Pour soup around each mound, about 1 cup per bowl.
4. Garnish each bowl with 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt and 2 tbsp. crabmeat topping mixture.

Per serving: 254 calories, 9.3 grams of fat (including 1.1 grams saturated fat), 47 milligrams cholesterol, 1,396 milligrams sodium, 25.9 grams carbs, 6.7 grams fiber, 12.8 grams sugar, 17.8 grams protein

Where to find yummy cold soups in and around Philly

217-219 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Chef Jose Garces serves up a refreshing yellow tomato gazpacho, featuring peekytoe crab and avocado, on both the lunch and dinner menu.

31 South 18th Street, Philadelphia

Brodo’s cold soups rotate on a daily basis, including picks such as creamy cucumber and habanero watermelon.

Devon and Blakely
1801 Market Street, Philadelphia

With over 18 soups offered daily, Devon and Blakely’s cold carrot-and-ginger soup and classic gazpacho are sure to take your temperature down at least a few notches.

The Diving Horse
2109 Dune Drive, Avalon

The perfect remedy for post-beach-day dehydration: a big cup of chilled carrot soup from the Diving Horse.

Earth Bread+Brewery
7136 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

Sign up for Earth Bread’s mailing list to get the low-down on their soup selection, which changes weekly. Stop by this week to try out the cold roasted carrot soup, garnished with pumpkin seeds and ginger creme fraiche or the chilled tomato-cucumber soup, topped with pico de gallo and olive oil.

1713 South Street, Philadelphia

Cool off with Pumpkin’s chilled cauliflower soup, featuring hints of pine nut and golden raisin, while enjoying this BYOB’s quiet, intimate atmosphere and beautifully plated seasonal dishes.

440 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

Sbraga’s beet gazpacho special only lasts until the end of June, but you can get your cold soup fix all summer with their tomato-melon soup, complete with melon sorbet and a sprinkle of cashews.

1536 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia

Kick off a relaxing summer dinner with a bowl of Stateside’s chilled melon soup, topped with shrimp, English peas and smoked coconut.

1221 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Kill your summer craving for something cool and creamy with this vegan hot-spot’s chilled cucumber-avocado soup, finished with almond picada, cumin and mint.

White Dog Cafe
3420 Sansom Street, Philadelphia and 200 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne

White Dog sources the majority of its ingredients from local, organic farms that practice sustainable farming. The result is super-fresh produce, perfect for whipping up a light and refreshing heirloom tomato gazpacho.