Chilly summer soups beat the heat.
111 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Some call it summer, but Phoenicians call it "pain." Take action, Valley diner. Wage elemental warfare on triple-digit summer temps with a bowl of heat-relieving chilled soup. Popular in warm Latin climes – and also in the Far East, where Koreans sip on a chilled beef stock called mool naeng myun – these bracing broths translate nicely to the Southwest. A good place to start is with the French-inspired "chilled potato and leek soup" at St. Francis, or vichyssoise to you Francophiles. Chef Aaron Chamberlin puts a contemporary spin on the potage with garnishes of pickled seasonal vegetables, crisp-thin coins of fried fingerlings and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. ($6)
6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
All summer long, Chef Jacques Qualin plays with fruits and vegetables to create unusual and often stunning gazpachos. There's nothing wrong with the tomato-based Spanish classic, but on any given week, you can step out of the box with raspberry gazpacho crowned with goat cheese; honeydew spiked with wicked jalapeño, lime and mint; or juicy watermelon paired with sweet, succulent crab. One thing is a given: Whichever saveur du jour gazpacho suits Qualin's fancy will likely tickle yours, too. ($9 and up)
7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
Chef Chris Curtiss captures the sweet taste of summer with a silky corn soup, part of a "locals only" summer prix fixe menu ($49). But here's a tip: You don't have to order the whole menu to get a bowl of this naturally sweet corn nirvana. Using both the kernels, pureed and strained, and a stock made from the cobs, Curtiss lets the corn speak for itself, but he covertly chimes in with a Spanish chorizo croquette, smoked paprika oil and tempura-fried jalapeño rings. One sip, and who cares what the temperature is outside? ($15)
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