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Ice Soup: For when Chill isn't Cool Enough

Ice soup - ice cubes suspended in a clear soup with cucumber and sesame seeds.
Photo by Vicky Wasik courtesy of Serious Eats.

Hello! I recently made a hearty vegetable stew, the wintery kind, because it's so easy and because a soup pot like this can make use of so many vegetables. Hot soup in the summer really doesn't bother me. Anyway, I was very hungry, and after my quick-release steam bath (if you know, you know)(also, lol the internet is weird) I ladeled a still bubbling serving into my bowl and threw in a few ice cubes to cool it down, mom-style. It got me thinking: are there any already cold soups that are in fact served with ice? Like a super-chilled, cocktail, but a savory soup? A cold enough food to challenge even the hottest of days? Turns out, ice soup is totally a thing.

While there are plenty of chilled soups out there (long list below), I was determined to find a couple of soup recipes that included actual ice cubes as a part of the serving suggestion. The best example I could find to meet my sudden but rigid criteria is oi naengguk - a chilled Korean ice soup. Similarly, the Persian Abdoogh Khiar is often served with actual cubes. Is it just me, or don't you find it thrilling to see all these photos of soup with literal ice cubes suspended in them?

In the summer, especially during a humid week like this one is destined to be, a hydrating soup like Oi Naengguk seems like the perfect answer to the unrelenting question "What should I cook?".

Oi naengguk - Korean Cucumber Ice Soup. This is the one, you guys.

If you want to see a (great) recipe video for a (vegan) Oi Naengguk, here's one for you. Join me in my internet habits of watching quick cooking videos when I need a break from my actual work. (How nice that in this case, ice soup is work... thanks, Becky :). Here's another video where the creator breaks down the pronunciation, too.

Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면)- A Korean Soup made with cold noodles in a chilled broth, sometimes containing beef and/or Korean radish water kimchi (dongchimi, 동치미).

Hiyajiru - Cold Miso Soup including dashi, cucumbers, sesame seeds, and tons of garnishes. This chilled Japanese soup has my attention!

Cold Nyumen (somen noodles in soup): Another chilled Japanese soup with thin noodles and minimal toppings. Green onions, blanched (sweet potato or otherwise) greens, or shaved cucumbers would make an excellent topping here.

Okroshka Recipe: Russian Summer Soup - Cucumbers, sour cream, tiny diced potatoes that are pre-cooked, dill, and lots of ice water.