Gazpacho (Marco Verch/CC BY 2.0)

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! If you’re looking for quick and easy soup recipes that you can prepare in advance and have on hand in your refrigerator ready to serve at a moment’s notice, there’s nothing better than cold summer soups!

During the nine days before Tisha B’Av, foods traditionally associated with joy, such as wine and meat (including poultry), are forbidden, except on Shabbat. Steak-Spiced Planked Salmon and Grilled Vegetable Medley are perfect either for Shabbat or the nine days—check out

Since this is a good time to explore a meat-free diet, these three delicious vegetarian soups will make excellent additions to your culinary repertoire.

Expecting guests? For an elegant touch, serve chilled soups in martini glasses or glass mugs. If the weather is uncertain, Black Bean & Corn Soup is a great choice. It can be baked in your oven or made in your slow cooker, and even better, it tastes terrific either hot or cold.



Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

No cooking required! This uncooked chilled soup is very refreshing on a hot summer day and is a wonderful thirst-quencher. Be careful not to over-process the vegetables.


1 English cucumber (do not peel)

1 green or red bell pepper, seeded

1 medium onion

6 firm, ripe tomatoes, cored

4 cloves garlic

Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 Tbsp lemon juice)

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp minced fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried)

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 1/2 cups tomato juice (salt-free or regular)

Additional chopped vegetables and basil for garnish


  1. Cut cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Insert steel blade in processor bowl. Process cucumber with 4 or 5 quick on/off pulses, until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with green pepper, onion, and tomatoes, adding each in turn to mixing bowl.
  3. Drop garlic through feed tube while machine is running; process until minced. Add lemon juice, oil, chili powder, basil, salt, and half the tomato juice. Process until smooth.
  4. Add mixture to chopped vegetables along with remaining tomato juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Ladle soup into a large pitcher, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavours.
  6. Serve chilled. Garnish with additional chopped vegetables and basil if desired.

Yields 6 servings.

Note: This keeps about a week in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.



Adapted from Healthy Helpings (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

This light and refreshing chilled soup tastes exactly like the dairy borscht that my late Auntie Adele was famous for, but with none of the work. The colour is absolutely incredible! Best of all, it takes no more than ten minutes to prepare, from start to finish. You can easily double the recipe to serve a crowd or to keep on hand in the fridge for quick lunches.


2 cans (19 oz/540 ml each) beets (whole or sliced)

1 can (48 oz/1.36 litres) tomato juice

1 litre (4 1/2 cups) buttermilk

1/2 cup sugar (artificial sweetener can be used)

1–2 Tbsp lemon juice (to taste)


  1. Drain beet juice into a very large mixing bowl. Process drained beets in the food processor until fine, using the steel blade.
  2. Combine all ingredients with beet juice in mixing bowl and mix well. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator. Keeps about 10 days. Serve chilled.

Makes 10–12 servings (about 14 cups). To freeze, pour borscht into storage containers, leaving at least 1-inch at the top of each container.


Esther’s Easy Vegetable Borscht: Refrigerate a 32 oz jar (4 cups) of commercial borscht. At serving time, add some chopped boiled potatoes, cucumber, green onions, and fresh minced dill. Great for summer!




Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

Rabbi Robyn Fryer, formerly of Toronto, transformed my black bean and corn casserole into a soup because she didn’t realize that she was supposed to drain the canned beans! I modified her version slightly and this fiber-packed soup is the result. She likes to serve it chilled for Shabbat on a summer evening but it’s also delicious served hot. Pack some in a thermos for a healthy lunch.


4 cups (2 -19 oz/540 mL cans) canned black beans (don’t drain)

2 cups (1- 14 oz/398 mL can) canned stewed tomatoes (don’t drain)

3 cups tomato or vegetable juice

2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey (or to taste)

2 medium onions, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic (about 2 tsp minced)

1 cup corn kernels (frozen or canned)

1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)

1/2–1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 4- or 5-quart ovenproof casserole with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in the casserole and mix well (or combine all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker).
  2. Bake, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If soup is too thick after baking, add a little water. (If using a slow cooker, cook for 6–8 hours on low, or 3–4 hours on high.)
  3. Once done, let stand for 1/2 hour to cool before refrigerating. Serve either chilled or hot.

Makes 6–8 servings (about 12 cups). Keeps for 4–5 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 4 months.


Norene’s Notes:

  • If sodium is a concern, choose an organic brand of canned black beans. They contain from 15 to 140 mg of sodium per serving, compared to 400 to 480 mg found in regular brands. Also, choose a low-sodium brand of canned stewed tomatoes and tomato or vegetable juice.