Chilled Tomato-Strawberry Soup

What to do with those extra berries languishing in the fridge? Blitz them into bright, zippy Polish chłodnik.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    1 hour 45 minutes


By Michał Korkosz

Published on April 15, 2024

I once read that food scientists say tomatoes and strawberries are made of the same flavor components, so they can be used interchangeably in cooking. I respectfully disagree; however, these two fruits do go together perfectly. My modern take—combining strawberries with garlic and dill—may seem unusual, but the strawberries make a subtle complement to the tomato flavor. You can also replace the strawberries with watermelon, raspberries, cherries, apricots, or melon.

Adapted from Polish’d: Modern Vegetarian Cooking from Global Poland © Michał Korkosz, 2023. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.

Featured in “Moving Past Pierogi: The New Face of Polish Cuisine” by Olga Mecking.


For the soup:

  • 1½ lb. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup halved hulled strawberries
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 1 thick sourdough or baguette slice, torn
  • Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • Dill flowers, for garnish (optional)

For the crispy garlic oil:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch fine salt


Step 1

Make the soup: In a large bowl, toss together the chopped tomatoes, strawberries, sour cream, vinegar, garlic, onion, bread, 1 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until the bread is soft, about 30 minutes. 

Step 2

Meanwhile, make the garlic oil: To a small skillet over low heat, add the oil, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Pour into a heatproof measuring cup and set aside. When cool enough to taste, season with salt.

Step 3

Transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor and blend until very smooth. With the food processor running on low, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until the soup is thick and velvety. Refrigerate until cold, 1–2 hours.

Step 4

To serve, divide the soup among four bowls. Top evenly with the cherry tomatoes, garlic oil, and dill flowers if desired.

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