Recipe: Chilled Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup

Chilled Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup (Image Credit: Christina Holmes)

Question: When did everyone get together and decide that all chilled soups are to be puréed? Just what is this obsession with homogenous cold soups come summertime? While I’ll admit I like the occasional gazpacho shooter, I think it’s time we explored the chunky, brothy alternative.

Enter: this Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup from The Complete Vegan Cookbook by the Natural Gourmet Center (formerly known as Natural Gourmet Institute). Chunks of smoky grilled vegetables swim in a light tomato broth for a satisfying new spin on a chilled summer soup. It’s the perfect way to use up that summer CSA box.

(Image Credit: Jeff Roffman)

Your Grill Is the Secret to the Best Summer Soup

You’ll start by slicing the vegetables — fennel, eggplant, bell pepper, and onion — then marinating them quickly in oil, salt, and pepper to soften them a bit. The vegetables are then grilled, which you can do indoors or out, and then allowed to cool. (You can do this step a day in advance.) Grilling the vegetables gives the soup its slightly smoky and caramelized grill flavor.

After they’re grilled, the vegetables are combined with tomato juice, vegetable broth, and a generous amount of acid in the form of lemon juice and red wine vinegar, both of which contribute to the soup’s zingy, refreshing bite. The hearty soup — which is chilled for 30 minutes before serving, making it perfect for hot summer nights — can hold its own as a main dish, especially if served with grilled bread.

2 Ratings

Chilled Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Soup

Serves6 to 8


  • 2

    medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut lengthwise through the core into 1/2-inch slabs

  • 1

    small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper, halved and seeded

  • 1

    small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    tomato juice

  • 2 to 3 cups

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup

    freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

  • 2 tablespoons

    ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons

    ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 1

    large clove garlic, minced


  1. Place the fennel, eggplant, bell pepper, onion, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed, grill until the vegetables are tender and dark grill marks form on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  3. When cool enough to handle, finely dice the vegetables and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomato juice, broth, vinegar, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, parsley, basil, and garlic, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover soup may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Reprinted from The Complete Vegan Cookbook: Over 150 Whole Foods, Plant-Based Recipes and Techniques by the Natural Gourmet. Copyright © 2019 by Natural Gourmet Cookery Corporation. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Christina Holmes. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Intrigued by this recipe? Check out The Complete Vegan Cookbook, a collection of over 150 vegan recipes and techniques from Natural Gourmet Center’s 40-plus-year history. It’s packed with creative ways to use all types of vegetables (and other plant-based whole foods), and this soup is just one of them.

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