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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 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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