Month: July 2019

Special Sauce: Lazarus Lynch on Cooking on Camera and Being Okay With Who You Are

Special Sauce: Lazarus Lynch on Cooking on Camera and Being Okay With Who You Are

[Lazarus Lynch photograph: Anisha Sisodia. Pancakes photograph: Vicky Wasik] Singer, author (Son of a Southern Chef), and food personality Lazarus Lynch is not your typical cookbook writer or social media star. As an openly gay young Black man, Lynch is blazing his own trail in […]

How to Make Paella for a Crowd: Fire Up Your Grill

How to Make Paella for a Crowd: Fire Up Your Grill

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik unless otherwise noted] “Just a little longer, I want to get a really good socarrat for the photos.” I said those words a little too confidently, and repeated them a few too many times, as my test batches of paella finished cooking […]

Grilled Chicken and Pork Paella Recipe

Grilled Chicken and Pork Paella Recipe


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

This meat-only paella is cooked on the grill, emulating the live-fire method used in Spain. It features tender chicken drumsticks and thighs and juicy pieces of pork tenderloin, along with plump grains of Spanish rice and seasonings like saffron and smoked paprika. It’s nearly impossible to successfully cook such a large paella on a stovetop burner indoors, since the heat source is too small and would create hot and cold spots that lead to uneven cooking.

Please note that it’s imperative you follow all the doneness cues in this recipe; the times are rough estimates since the actual timing of each step will vary heavily depending on the heat of your grill. This means that if your meat browns in a fraction of the stated time, you must move on to the next step and not adhere to the estimated time; if it takes longer, you must allow it to proceed beyond the estimated time (or boost the heat of your grill).



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Grilled Paella Mixta (Mixed Paella With Chicken and Seafood) Recipe

Grilled Paella Mixta (Mixed Paella With Chicken and Seafood) Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] Paella mixta, which combines seafood and meat, is, as any Spaniard will tell you, not a traditional type of paella. But it is enjoyed throughout the world, and it is indisputably delicious. On top of saffron, smoked paprika, and other deeply flavorful […]

Look Inside Serious Eater: The Full Prologue

Look Inside Serious Eater: The Full Prologue

When Serious Eats founder and overlord Ed Levine first told me that he was planning to write a memoir about the birth of the site, I knew it was going to be a riveting read. And sure enough, Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest […]

16 Chilled Soups to Make the Most of Summer Produce

16 Chilled Soups to Make the Most of Summer Produce


Collage of photos of ajo blanco, cantaloupe gazpacho, lettuce soup, and cold Korean noodle soup

[Collage photographs: Vicky Wasik, Lauren Rothman, Daniel Gritzer]

We’re still a few months away from peak soup season—I’m not usually in the mood for a steaming bowl of stew when temperatures are still in the 80s. But not all soups are cold-weather affairs, and a light chilled soup can be incredibly refreshing on a hot day.

Our favorite summery soups show off the season’s best fresh produce—corn, tomatoes, squash, and more—and some don’t even need to be cooked, which is especially appealing when it’s scorching out. From classic and not-so-classic gazpachos to corn chowder and Korean noodle soup, we’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite soup recipes that are perfect for the hottest days of summer.

No-Cook Soups

Andalusian Gazpacho

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Let’s start with the most classic of all cold summer soups, gazpacho. This recipe’s ingredient list is traditional: tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, and white bread. It’s the technique that’s a little unusual. To get the most flavor out of the vegetables, we turn to cryo-blanching, which is a fancy way of saying that we freeze and thaw the veggies to break them down and release their flavorful juices.

Andalusian Gazpacho Recipe »

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Easy Gazpacho

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Cryo-blanching makes the best gazpacho, but it also takes at least an hour to freeze and thaw the vegetables, plus another hour of additional prep time. The good news is that if you want a refreshing bowl of soup faster than that, you can skip that step. Salting the vegetables and letting them drain onto the bread makes a soup that isn’t quite as flavorful, but it comes pretty darn close, and the whole process takes just 45 minutes from beginning to end.

Easy Gazpacho Recipe »

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Ajo Blanco

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

While tomato-based gazpachos may be the best-known, they’re not the only option among no-cook soups. To make this lovely bright-white ajo blanco, sometimes called “white gazpacho,” we keep the bread, but blend it up with blanched almonds and garlic instead of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Garnish with green seedless grapes, toasted almonds, and mint.

Ajo Blanco Recipe »

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Watermelon Gazpacho With Calabrian-Chili Crema

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

On the most sweltering days of summer, adding juicy watermelon to the traditional gazpacho mix of tomato and cucumber seems to make the dish extra cooling. Using toasted almonds instead of bread to thicken the soup keeps it especially light, while a drizzle of Mexican crema spiked with hot Calabrian chilies balances out the sweetness of the fruit.

Watermelon Gazpacho With Calabrian-Chili Crema Recipe »

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Cantaloupe Gazpacho With Crispy Prosciutto

[Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

This gazpacho variation is inspired by the classic antipasto combination of cantaloupe and prosciutto. Sweet melon turns the soup pleasantly fruity, but keeping the cucumber and onion from the usual gazpacho formula ensures it doesn’t turn into a dessert. Oven-crisped prosciutto adds a savory, salty finishing touch.

Cantaloupe Gazpacho With Crispy Prosciutto Recipe »

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No-Cook Blender Tomato Soup

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

We’re cheating a little here—this recipe is cooked, but rather than using the stove, we get all the heat we need from a Vitamix blender. The high-powered blender actually cooks the onions and tomatoes, while incorporating crustless white bread and olive oil makes the soup luxuriously creamy without any dairy. Keep this recipe in mind all year long, as the soup is great either hot or cold.

No-Cook Blender Tomato Soup Recipe »

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Cooked-and-Chilled Soups

Mexican-Style Gazpacho With Grilled Shrimp

[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

This version of gazpacho differs from the classic in two big ways—not only do we include tomatillos and jalapeños, two ubiquitous Mexican ingredients, but we also grill them (and the other veggies) to give the soup a pronounced smoky flavor. We like to keep this gazpacho on the chunky side, and top it with grilled shrimp to make it more filling.

Mexican-Style Gazpacho With Grilled Shrimp Recipe »

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The Best Corn Chowder

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Sometimes making a cold soup is as simple as starting with one meant to be served hot and…eating it cold. If the soup is intensely flavorful, you won’t even miss the heat. That’s the case with this chowder, which we infuse with maximum corn flavor by throwing the empty cobs into the stock. Along with the potatoes, the corncobs release enough starch to thicken the soup beautifully.

The Best Corn Chowder Recipe »

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Pressure Cooker Corn Soup

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Want an alternative to corn chowder that tastes even cornier? If you have a pressure cooker, you can let it do all the work of extracting the corn’s flavor for you. Throw the stripped cobs into the pressure cooker along with the kernels, and you’ll get a thick soup with a deeper corn flavor than one made with potatoes or dairy.

Pressure Cooker Corn Soup Recipe »

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Easy, Summery Zucchini-Basil Soup

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Zucchini is an extremely watery vegetable, which makes it a challenge for preparations like sautés, but absolutely perfect for soup. It takes only a little cooking to break the squash down before blending it into a fresh, brightly colored soup scented with lots of basil. To preserve the zucchini’s flavor, we use water instead of stock and add mild leeks instead of sharper onion.

Easy, Summery Zucchini-Basil Soup Recipe »

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Asparagus and Tarragon Velouté (Dairy-Free Creamy Asparagus Soup)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

We love the texture of a creamy soup, but the dairy fat that’s usually used to achieve that creaminess tends to cover up the flavor of fresh vegetables. Our solution is velouté, a French technique that uses a roux, and little to no dairy, to thicken a soup. Leaving out the cream lets the grassy asparagus and anise-scented tarragon in this recipe shine.

Asparagus and Tarragon Velouté (Dairy-Free Creamy Asparagus Soup) Recipe »

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Creamy Lettuce Soup

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

A couple times a year, I buy a head of lettuce to make a sandwich, use a few leaves, then accidentally leave the rest to wilt away in the fridge. Thanks to this recipe, that’s no longer a problem—lettuce past its prime is surprisingly tasty when cooked up with aromatics and stock into a soup, then served either hot or cold. A handful of parsley keeps the color as vividly green as a fresh head of lettuce, too.

Creamy Lettuce Soup Recipe »

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Make-Ahead Pea Soup With Shallot, Lemon, and Parmesan

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

This light, delicate soup is far more refreshing than the thick, hammy variety of pea soup that’s more traditional, thanks to sweet peas (fresh or frozen peas work) and blanched lemon rind. We cook the soup just long enough to bring it to a boil, so the peas don’t lose their fresh flavor, then blend with grated Parmesan cheese to add a little body. This one is good either warm or chilled.

Make-Ahead Pea Soup With Shallot, Lemon, and Parmesan Recipe »

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Chilled Summer Squash Soup With Yogurt, Mint, and Sourdough Croutons

[Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

This time of year, I often find summer squash on sale at my local supermarket, but there’s only so much sautéed squash I can eat. Fortunately, I can always turn to this recipe, which turns three pounds of the stuff into a tangy, earthy soup. We start by stewing the squash with garlic and onions, then blend it up with yogurt and fresh mint until it’s silky-smooth.

Chilled Summer Squash Soup With Yogurt, Mint, and Sourdough Croutons Recipe »

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Cold Korean Noodle Soup With Asian Pear and Cucumber (Mul Naengmyun)

[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

If your knowledge of Korean food ends at bibimbap and barbecued short ribs, you’re missing out. Among the many delicious noodle dishes the country is known for, this summery soup of buckwheat noodles in a sweet-tart, gelatin-thickened broth stands out. We add poached beef to the soup, making it a more filling meal, and garnish it with Asian pear, cucumber, and pickled radish.

Cold Korean Noodle Soup With Asian Pear and Cucumber (Mul Naengmyun) Recipe »

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Chilled Minty Carrot Soup With Dukkah Yogurt

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This bright carrot soup is perfect for a warm summer day. Carrots offer a natural sweetness, and a dollop of aromatic spiced yogurt adds richness to complement their vegetal flavor. Adding mint only after the soup has been chilled ensures that its flavor remains strong and fresh in the final dish.

Chilled Minty Carrot Soup With Dukkah Yogurt Recipe »

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Grilled Lamb Arrosticini: A Study in Grilled Skewer Simplicity

Grilled Lamb Arrosticini: A Study in Grilled Skewer Simplicity

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared a series of grilling recipes that span a number of cuisines but all use the same modified charcoal grill setup that I designed for optimal skewer cookery. From Turkish-style chicken wings to miniaturized al pastor, […]

Grilled Italian-Style Lamb Skewers (Arrosticini Abruzzesi) Recipe

Grilled Italian-Style Lamb Skewers (Arrosticini Abruzzesi) Recipe

4. Brush lamb on all sides with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place skewers directly over the hot coals, balancing them on top of the bricks, with the handles overhanging the bricks closest to you, and the tips balancing on the […]

Fried Chicken for a Cause: The Best of #BetterThanChickFilA

Fried Chicken for a Cause: The Best of #BetterThanChickFilA


A copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich of fried chicken and sliced pickles on a bun, on a white plate

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This past March, I sent out a quick tweet about a spur-of-the-moment charity-drive idea that came to me late one night: For every person who made our Chick-fil-A fried chicken sandwich clone (or any other fried chicken or fried-vegetable sandwich), posted a photo on Twitter or Instagram, and tagged it with #BetterThanChickFilA, I would donate $10 to Our Family Coalition, an organization that advances equality for LGBTQ families with children.

In the three months that I kept the drive open, I thought that I’d get maybe 100 or so entries and donate about $1,000 to this great cause. Boy, was I wrong. Between Twitter and Instagram, almost 600 sandwich photos in all were posted—an average of nearly seven per day. Not only that, but many generous folks agreed to match my donations, which, along with employer matches, brought our total to just under $52,000!

Of that, we decided to donate around $28K to Our Family and split the remainder between several other great organizations doing essential work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including the National LGBTQ Task Force, Trans Lifeline, the LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth, Larkin Street Youth Services, Gender Spectrum, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis, and the Transgender Law Center.

I am completely and utterly floored by the number of folks who participated in this drive, and the generosity of so many. Of course, I hope you enjoyed the chicken sandwiches, too.

The drive is over, but feel free to keep using the tag and piling on those delicious chicken sandwiches. It doesn’t even have to be the Chick-fil-A clone: My Five-Ingredient Fried Chicken Sandwich is about as simple as it gets, or you can go the complex route with my Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich. Or, try any of our many other fried chicken recipes.

There’s even more good news! This drive came with a sweet bonus prize: all those mouthwatering photos. Here are a few of my favorites, but you’ll find hundreds more on Twitter and Instagram.

A special thanks to Twitter users @hipstersmurf, @awiner, @joshu, @dag16, @andreasgal, @AvidanRoss, @mikesweeney, @lordeagle, and @janeylicious, all of whom generously matched all or part of my donation.

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.





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Wood Versus Plastic Cutting Boards

Wood Versus Plastic Cutting Boards

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik unless otherwise noted] A cutting board is a lot like a mattress—underestimate the importance of getting a quality one, and you’ll regret it. It is the primary work surface in your kitchen, the place where you dice onions, cut up raw chicken, […]