Don’t put down that soup spoon just because it’s hot outside

WASHINGTON — When the temperatures soar, many of us lose our excitement for cooking, because we don’t want to stand over a hot stove.

But there’s no need to turn on the stove when there are so many healthy options in summer soups, said Lean Plate Club™ blogger Sally Squires.

No cooking is required. And for many of these summer soups, you’ll only need a blender.

“This is the best time of the year to eat fruits and vegetables, and that means we can make many delicious cold soups,” Squires said. “They are loaded with water and can help with hydration and also can help to keep you cool.”

Squires said one of her favorite soups is gazpacho, because it is packed with flavor, and if you are preparing it for others, it should fit for nearly everyone’s food preferences and tastes. It’s gluten-free, it works for vegetarians and, in most cases, also works for vegans — and it’s low in calories.

Gazpacho recipes are plentiful, she said, and they offer great flexibility for adding fresh ingredients from stores or farmers markets. Many use tomatoes and/or tomato juice as a base, and you simply just add peppers, cucumbers, an onion and seasonings.

The Epicurious app, for instance, features a watermelon gazpacho with feta cream. Squires also found recipes for a cold cucumber soup with buttermilk and a pea soup that can be made with fresh or frozen peas, mint and yogurt. She also recommended trying vichyssoise — a French recipe made from boiled and pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that soups are just a cold weather food or that you need a heavy soup to feel full, Squires said. These summer soups can really do the job.

“Whether you choose summer soups as your first course or your main meal, you have so many refreshing options that will fill you up,” she said.

“They are loaded with fluids, and you are going to feel full on fewer calories, so this is the way to go if you are trying to cut back this summer.”

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