I had always been skeptical about cold soups. It seems like the whole point of soup is to warm you up, to sooth a sore throat or sustain you after you've had your wisdom teeth pulled. So why on earth would anyone want to eat cold soup?

   I'll tell you why: sometimes it gets really freaking hot! And when that happens, all you really want to eat is fresh vegetables swimming in ice water. Which is basically what this soup is.

    I was in Japan on a girl scout exchange program, and it was scorchingly hot and humid. My host family had taken me to a girl scout meeting at a local tea house, and after the meeting they served a soup with fat udon noodles and raw vegetables in ice water. As I struggled to eat it with the chopsticks they gave me, I marveled at how refreshing a cold soup could be. That was five years ago, and although I haven't tried to recreate the soup until now, I've never forgotten it.

*serves 1
2 oz udon noodles, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 carrot, julienned
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1+1/2 cups ice water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
cilantro to garnish

Cook the noodles, then rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Combine noodles, carrot, cucumber, ice water, lemon juice and cilantro in a large soup bowl. Enjoy!