Cool Down With These 5 Summer Soups

Carrot soup with carrot and herbs and spoon on a wooden table
Photo: Marco Verch [CC by 2.0]/Flickr

This summer promises to be a hot one — and that poses a sticky dilemma. It's too hot to cook, but you still have to eat. So unless you're a social animal and can cadge dinner invitations for the next three months, you can't avoid cooking. Why not take advantage of the bounty of fresh vegetables available at farmers markets and kitchen gardens that define the taste of summer? Cold soups are refreshingly toothsome summer fare that will keep your kitchen duties to a minimum and your tummy happy. Here are five light summer soups perfect for cooling down on roof decks and pool patios.

1
of 5

Avocado soup

Photo: Doma/Shutterstock

Cool and creamy avocado soup slides down easy. The ideal dish on a hot summer's day.

Avocado soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced (reserve slices for garnish)
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced (reserve slices garnish)
  • 2 green onions, tops and roots removed
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt, Greek or plain
  • Handful of fresh mint, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon zest and fresh mint (optional garnish)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

Total time: 60 min

Directions

  1. Rinse and prep the vegetables. Combine the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir gently.
  2. Add the combined ingredients to blender. Process for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Blend in two batches if necessary. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until cool.
  3. Use reserved cucumber slices, avocado, zest and mint leaves to make a garnish. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4

2
of 5

Cantaloupe soup

Photo: Art_Maric/Shutterstock

Surprise your taste buds by pairing the sweetness of cantaloupe with a hint of spice.

Cantaloupe soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 three-pound cantaloupe, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, Greek or plain
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Dash of curry powder
  • Sprig of fresh mint for garnish
  • Ice cubes, optional

Prep time: 20 min.

Cook time: 50 min.

Total time: 70 min.

Directions

  1. Rinse and prep the vegetables.
  2. Combine the first five ingredients in a blender. Process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Add ice cubes and blend; set to pulse to achieve the desired consistency, if needed.
  4. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Stir before serving.

Yield: 4

3
of 5

Gazpacho

Photo: Seqoya/Shutterstock

This is thirst-quenching with the benefits of a liquid salad. Interpretations of this ancient Andalusian dish are as varied as the cooks who make them throughout Spain and parts of Latin America.

Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 4 vine-grown tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups organic tomato juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 ounces white wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spring onion tops (optional garnish)

Prep time: 30 min.

Cook time: 3 hours

Total time: 3 hours, 30 min.

Directions

  1. Rinse and prep the vegetables.
  2. Combine cut vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add the liquids and sprinkle with sugar.
  3. Stir gently until the ingredients are well-blended. Cover and chill in the fridge for 3 hours. Serve with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce for an added kick.

Yield: 4-6

4
of 5

Cucumber soup

Photo: Tanya Brighidina/Shutterstock

What's cool, green and sexier than Kermit? Cucumber soup is blender safe and safe on the palate.

Cucumber soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers peeled and diced (reserve slices for garnish)
  • 2 cups yogurt, Greek or plain
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Handful of fresh mint, stemmed and shredded
  • Several springs of dill, stemmed and chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prep time: 20 min.

Cook time: 50 min. (including refrigeration)

Total time: 70 min.

Directions

  1. Rinse and prep vegetables. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a blender. Mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to fuse about 30 minutes.
  2. Garnish with cucumber slices and dill fronds. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4

5
of 5

Strawberry soup

Photo: supercat/Shutterstock

Halfway between a milkshake and dessert, this versatile soup can be slurped through a straw or frozen into fruit pops.

Strawberry soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprigs of fresh mint (optional garnish)

Prep time: 10 min.

Total time: About 10 min.

Directions

  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth for about 30 seconds. Add a little more yogurt or milk if needed. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 small servings