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10 Cool Summer Soups to Help Beat the Heat

10 Cool Summer Soups to Help Beat the Heat

Like so many people, work and running around will keep me busy on these upcoming warm days of summer, though I’ll still get in some beach time! If you’re fanning away the heat waves and dreaming of coolness, I’ve got you covered. Here are the best recipes to help beat the heat with these cool summer soups that are light, tasty and easy to prepare.

1. Watermelon Gazpacho

watermelon-gazpacho

    Watermelon and cucumbers provide a juicy, sweet and slightly spicy flavor to this marvelous version of gazpacho. I often add some cilantro or dill to give it a different taste. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint when serving and you’ll be in for a delight!

    2. Radish Gazpacho

    02Chunky_RadishGazpacho

      The peppery flavor of radish and Worcestershire sauce will give you a sharp taste in this gazpacho. Toss the ingredients into a blender or food processor and you will have a hearty meal that can be put together quickly in case unexpected guests drop in. Another great value in this recipe is that you can make enough to freeze a batch for later. When you’re ready, just thaw and enjoy!

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      3. Chilled Yogurt Soup

      chilled yogurt soup

        This soup makes me want to dance and shout “Opa!” with this cool combo of cucumbers and yogurt. A bit of garlic and chili powder will add some pizazz to the flavors, which you can adjust to your own taste. Pair up with pita bread and you have a wonderful Mediterranean-inspired dish.

        4. Creamy Cucumber Soup

        Chilled-Creamy-Cucumber-Soup

          I love this cucumber and yogurt variation, especially as the addition of avocado to this recipe gives it a silky touch. You can substitute buttermilk or sour cream for the yogurt to vary the taste and then add a spoonful or two of honey to sweeten. The flavors play well off each other to give this soup its distinctive taste.

          5. Sparkling Pineapple Soup

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          Sweet_PineappleSoup

            The ‘sparkling’ in this recipe is wine or champagne, though you can also use white grape juice or apple cider for an excellent non-alcoholic version. The way to give this refreshing soup a tropical twist is to add a few teaspoons of toasted coconut and macadamia nuts as garnishes. You can also vary the taste by blending in pear or mango for half of the pineapple. Either makes a wonderful complement!

            6. Strawberry-Orange Soup

            Strawberry-Soup

              I love it when a combination of flavors and healthy ingredients come together so perfectly in a dish as appealing as this summer soup. The blender is my friend in quickly making this recipe and adding a bit of cardamom will definitely give you a spicy uplift without the heat.

              7. Melon Soup

              melonsoup

                Melons really make summer bearable and they certainly bring excitement to this soup! The great thing about this recipe is that you can use a variety of melons to make it different each time you prepare it. Add a few tablespoons of grappa for a subtle hint of wine and top with your favorite berries and a sprig of mint to bring out the smiles and fresh coolness.

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                8. Cool Cantaloupe Soup with Basil Cream

                cantaloupesoup_chefsstation

                  I like to add a little ‘mambo’ to my summer days by mixing up this 10-minute recipe. The cream blends well (no pun intended) with the mildness of cantaloupe and you can always use yogurt (flavored or plain) or light cream to tone down the calories without losing the great taste. Add about 1/2 cup of pineapple to the mix for variety. If you want to give it an extra sharpness, use a small amount of fresh ginger when blending. Add a sprig of mint or some cilantro leaves on top for garnish and serve over ice in a pilsner or champagne glass to bring some sparkling ‘class’ to your table by the poolside.

                  9. Cool Herbed Zucchini Soup

                  chilled herb zucchini soup

                    I never thought of squash as a summer refresher, but this soup will give your taste buds an idea of the terrific possibilities. It is not only delicious in taste but adding some cashews (soak to soften before blending with the other ingredients) will give you a bowlful of antioxidants and vitamin A to make a very healthy and cool addition to your summer fare. You can make this a day in advance for those spur-of-the-moment get togethers or picnics.

                    10. Spiced Blueberry Soup

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                    Chilled Spiced Blueberry Soup

                      Rounding off our ‘beat the heat’ summer soups list, feast your eyes and appetite on this delectable and fruity soup. A very simple recipe, you can spice it up by adding just a bit of allspice and cinnamon with a couple squeezes of lemon juice (substituting for the orange juice). The lemon will give it slightly more tartness. To balance out the sharpness of the fruits, I may add a cup of yogurt (vanilla or Greek-style would work the best) for a really smooth soup.

                       

                      Surprising coolness, right? All of these delectable choices will bring refreshment to quench the heat and are sure to be a hit all summer. Simple to prepare with so many possible variations, you and your friends can finish off a warm evening or weekend with these summer soups and keep your cool for the week ahead. Let’s get started!

                      Featured photo credit: Ingredients for gazpacho cold soup in a blender, outdoors via shutterstock.com

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                      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                      Review Your Past Flow

                      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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