After a long and snowy winter, summer is a welcome change in season for just about everyone: it's a chance to stow away the hats and coats and trade them in for a pair of shorts and some flip flops.

As July merges into August, however, the heat can begin to wear a person down, making it difficult to enjoy a lot of activities with the exception of cooling off in the water. One area that suffers for me is eating, and I love eating. It's just that on sweltering hot days, the idea of hot and heavy meals just doesn't appeal to me; it's best to save the soups and stews for a cold winter day.

Your family, however, still needs to eat a wholesome meal, so what are you going to do?

The answer is simple enough: think cool, as in cool foods. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a cool soup. Soups are delicious and healthy, and can be a meal in and of themselves, especially if you add in some crusty bread and a salad. Best of all, making cool soups will ensure that your family is eating a wholesome diet, and is spending important quality time eating together.

These soups are easy to prepare and require a minimal amount of hot stove-time. They can be served at room temperature or chilled for a refreshing meal at suppertime.

Carrot Ginger Soup


  • 2 1/2 cups of carrots, chopped and peeled
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 T butter
  • 4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable (can use 2 cups broth, 2 cups water)
  • 1 t ginger, minced (can substitute 1/4 tsp ground)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk (can also use buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 yogurt)


In a four-quart sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for five minutes. Add broth, ginger, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then puree with a blender. Add milk and cook on low heat for 10 minutes (do not boil).

Creamy Chickpea Soup


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable, or water)
  • 1 can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


In a 2-3 quart sauce pan, saute the onions until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, then add cumin and cook two minutes. Add broth, chickpeas, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool 10 minutes. Puree with a blender, stir in yogurt, and serve.



Unless noted, all chopping is to make big chunks

  • 5 ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 slices of white toast, or stale bread, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t salt, or to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Place all the vegetables and bread in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a large pot or bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Chill for at least one hour before serving. You can also make a chunky version by chopping the ingredients in a food processor and allowing for big chunks.

Alternatively, you can dice everything with a knife, but who's got the time for that?

Avocado Soup


  • 2 ripe avocados (do not peel until ready to make the soup)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, or to taste
  • 2 T minced chives (optional)
  • 2 1/4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 t salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Peel and cube the avocado then place in a large bowl. Toss in the lemon juice and combine with cucumber, garlic, chives, and broth. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a pot or bowl and add yogurt, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and chill for at least one hour.