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The perfect summer lunch in Charleston

In search of chilled soups

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When it's so damn hot outside, light and fresh is the order of the day, and my favorite summertime dish (second to a tomato sandwich) is a chilled soup. The other day, The Glass Onion in West Ashley featured a creamy and cool corn soup, topped with a couple chunks of avocado and a drizzle of oil. And it was perfectly filling — not too light but not too heavy.

The chilled cucumber soup at G&M/Fast & French is a regular favorite that appears in the warmer months. Heavy on the dill and yogurt, the soup comes in a deep bowl and is perfectly paired with a crusty baguette and French cheese. Or you can keep it really light and get some fruit on the side. I prefer the cheese — and the wine.

In addition to their massively satisfying Mediterranean Plate (baba ghanoush, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, couscous, pita, olives, pepperoncini), Papa Zuzu's has a stellar gazpacho that never fails to make me happy, particularly when it's the height of tomato season.

During the month of June, Ted's Butcherblock is featuring a chilled pea, mint, and ricotta soup. It's teeming with pea but has a nice minty zing and salty tang from the ricotta.

You can also count on Five Loaves to have a couple of chilled soups during the summer. They've been featuring a Southwestern cucumber and lime soup along with a breezy melon and yogurt blend.

Have you encountered any cold soups? Let us know, and we'll keep a running tally of where to score a cool, refreshing summertime lunch.

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