Summertime conjures up cravings for cold food favorites like gazpacho, ice cream, chilled watermelon and iced coffees. Delicious on a hot day, but these foods and beverages don’t actually take your body temperature down. While it may not be as appealing as ice cream, hot soups can be one of the best foods to have on a hot day. A piping hot bowl can bring your body more in balance because we naturally sweat when we eat warm or spicy foods. When we consume hot foods or beverages, it raises our body temperature, which signals our body gauge to cool us down so we start sweating as a result. That sweat begins to evaporate which naturally cools our body down. I’ve talked to people recently about this concept and they’re in disbelief. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s real and it works. I think it’s a mindset that we should only eat soup during cold winter months. Don’t get me wrong, hot soup on a cold day is comforting. But hot soup on a hot day can not only be comforting, but cooling as well.
While traveling in Cambodia and Vietnam, we took note of the meals people were having in the midday heat and more often than not, it was hot soup. Hot, spicy (off the chart delicious) soups. We started every day with a bowl of soup, made to order with bone broth, farm fresh eggs, chilis, herbs and noodles and/or chicken, if so desired. We then added spicy sauces and fried aromatics to enhance our bowls even more. We still talk about it today! Temperatures were in the mid 80’s by 8am, but we weren’t negatively affected by hot soup at all. In fact, a little sip and sweat kicked off our day. It was invigorating and for me, better than a cup of coffee! By lunchtime, temperatures were sometimes into the 90’s, but nine times out of ten, we all chose to have a bowl of soup or a hot curry dish ~ and of course, we added hot sauces and condiments. It did cool us down. We kept well hydrated of course, but those meals contributed to keeping us in line with our environment. The same can be found in many cultures where the heat is high. Menudo for late morning breakfast (sometimes to kill a hangover) is eaten all over Mexico and southern United States, like Arizona and Texas. Miso in Japanese households is an every day item – warm temperatures outside or not. Bone broth for breakfast or lunch can be added to Japan’s “hot day” list, as well Cambodia, Brazil and the Caribbean. In Korea, they say “fight fire with fire” and regularly consume a soup called samgyetang on the hottest days. A delicious chicken soup with ginseng that adds a natural cooling affect on the body. There’s something to be said for the foods served on hot days in all these hot climate countries – where people put in long, hard days in severely hot weather.
Here in the NW, we are in peak season for some of the regions best produce. Tomatoes are coming on, peppers are appearing, squash varieties, root vegetables, peas, beans, and cucumbers are all arriving – it’s amazing to go to the farmer’s markets right now. AND soon to be here – corn! Our recent record high temperatures put us on the map for several days as one of the hottest spots on the planet. As devastating as that was for our communities, it brought on early harvests. That’s the only good thing. I’m not applauding the weather, but more importantly how our farmer’s endured and remarkably survived to be present at the markets today. You can get just about anything right now that can contribute to a creative soup concoction. AND consider this – soup isn’t just for lunch. We have it for breakfast most mornings. We are food people and want flavor for every meal. There’s nothing like a flavorful soup or broth for breakfast. It’s easy to have on hand. Simply keep glass jars of soup in your fridge or freezer. Within minutes. you’ve got a nutritious breakfast bowl to kick off you day. You’ll thank me for this suggestion!
We’ll be posting soups periodically. Please check our blog page and instagram posts for these seasonal soups you can enjoy any time of year. Here’s one you can check out now!
Here’s a suggested product for freezing one cup servings for you and your family. You can get these on Amazon. Set of two for $19.99. They’re called Souper Cubes. I’ve been using these for our pestos and pistous, as well. We pop out the frozen cubes and store in safe freezer friendly bags until ready to use. Then fill the Souper Cubes again!