50 Best Cold Soups, Crisp Salads, and Other Hot-Weather Fare

Feel brighter, lighter, and cooler with this awesome collection of crisp and refreshing summertime recipes
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50 Best Cold Soups, Crisp Salads, and Other Hot-Weather Fare

50 Best Cold Soups, Crisp Salads, and Other Hot-Weather Fare

Gentle & Hyers

It’s hot out there this summer, and when the sidewalks are sizzling and body temperatures are rising in sync with the thermometer, the last thing on all our minds is a warm— let alone hot— meal.

The hot summer sun can drain our bodies of energy and nutrients, leaving us feeling lethargic and dehydratednot to mention how uncomfortable it is to be drenched in sticky sweat. So what can we do? How can we cool down?

Aside from taking a dive in the pool, sitting with our faces inches from a fan, sticking our backside in the freezer, or hiding out inside a heavily air-conditioned room, we can actually seek out cool, crisp, and refreshing foods that will reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and taste buds.

Ice pops, gazpachos, slushy cocktails, and chilled salads are all wonderful ways to cool down this August and feel like we have some semblance of control over the invading heat.

When searching for the perfect recipes to include in this refreshing collection, we sought out foods with ripe juiciness, crisp textures, bright flavors, and touches of acid to help us salivate (no dry, parched mouths here).

Also important to note, this collection avoids ultra-sweet treats like ice cream. The combination of heavy cream and sugar can create a sticky, cloying feeling in our mouths, making us feel hot, heavy, and thirsty — things we definitely want to avoid.

Check out this slideshow for hot weather cooking inspiration; we can at least help you to “think cool” until you get the chance to make some of these delicious recipes yourself.

Ajo Blanco

Ajo Blanco

Shutterstock

The Latin American cousin of the classic Spanish gazpacho, ajo blanco is wonderfully garlicky, nutty, creamy, and, of course, refreshing.

For the Ajo Blanco recipe, click here.

Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Spicy arugula paired with fresh shaved fennel and tart lemon vinaigrette is great on a hot summer day. It won’t feel heavy on your palate and will wake up your senses with its bright flavors. Check out the recipe here.

Authentic Spanish Gazpacho

Authentic Spanish Gazpacho

The authentic Spanish gazpacho is a cold soup made from tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and garlic, then seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. There are many versions out there (you’ll see many in this slideshow), but this one is the original. Check out the recipe here.

Avocado Basil Cucumber Bites

Avocado Basil Cucumber Bites

Looking for a quick mid-afternoon snack? Try these avocado basil cucumber bites for an easy treat that will keep you feeling light, fresh, and cool until dinner. Check out the recipe here.

Avocado, Coconut, and Lime Sorbet

Avocado, Coconut, and Lime Sorbet

Matt Armendariz

The coconut and lime add a tropical panache, but the avocado gives this sorbet a very distinctive, smooth finish. Check out the recipe by clicking here.

Avocado Soup

Avocado Soup

Shutterstock

This silky soup, paired with the crisp flavors of lime and cilantro, will brighten your mood as well as your day. Find the recipe here.

Bell Pepper and Snap Pea Salad

Bell Pepper and Snap Pea Salad

Shutterstock

This recipe is simple and easy: Fresh snap peas and sliced bell peppers are tossed together in a bowl then seasoned with sesame seeds, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Click here to find the recipe.

BLT Chicken Salad

BLT Chicken Salad

Allison Beck

The sweet and moist roast chicken is tossed with salty and crisp bacon, then combined with juicy tomatoes and crisp green lettuce. Find the recipe here.

Chilled Buckwheat Noodles With Hot-Sour Tamarind Broth

Chilled Buckwheat Noodles With Hot-Sour Tamarind Broth

In this recipe, you get the satisfying chew of the buckwheat noodles combined with a tartness from the tamarind and a touch of sweetness from the pineapple. This recipe also calls for spicy gochujang paste, which you may want to use sparingly on a hot, hot day.

Find the Chilled Buckwheat Noodles With Hot-Sour Tamarind Broth recipe here.

Chilled Corn Soup

Chilled Corn Soup

Shutterstock

This vegan corn soup is smooth, creamy, and sweet, really showing off the flavors of this popular summer vegetable.

For the Chilled Corn Soup recipe, click here.

Chilled Fennel Soup

Chilled Fennel Soup

Shutterstock

A chilled, herb-filled, fennel soup is everything we could ask for on a scorching hot day.

For the Chilled Fennel Soup recipe, click here.

Chilled Poached Salmon Salad With Honey-Yogurt Dressing

Chilled Poached Salmon Salad With Honey-Yogurt Dressing

National Honey Board

Serve this simple salad with chilled salmon during the summer along with a savory combo of yogurt and dill. For the recipe, click here.

Cilantro Grapefruit Cucumber Smoothie

Cilantro Grapefruit Cucumber Smoothie

Thinkstock

Cilantro is not for everyone, but if you’re a fan then this cilantro, grapefruit, and cucumber smoothie is guaranteed to freshen up the day and cool you down. For the smoothie recipe, click here.

Cold Cucumber Noodle Soup

Cold Cucumber Noodle Soup

Spice Market

Two very important key words are in this recipe title: “cold” and “cucumber.” In this chilled soup, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, gochugaru, and sesame seeds create cucumber umami bliss. 

Experience these flavors and make the Cold Cucumber Noodle Soup recipe.

Cold, No-Bake Lasagna With Sautéed Zucchini, Tomato Salad, Ricotta, and Pesto Sauce

Cold, No-Bake Lasagna With Sautéed Zucchini, Tomato Salad, Ricotta, and Pesto Sauce

Barilla

If you like lasagna, then you’ll love this summer version. It’s served cold and full of fresh vegetables. What could be better than that? Click here for the recipe.

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

Cold noodles are tossed with cucumbers, scallions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds then dressed with toasted sesame oil and tahini. Filling and comforting without heating you up! Check out the recipe here.

Cucumber Apple Gazpacho

Cucumber Apple Gazpacho

Jeannie-O

Gazpachos couldn’t be easier to make: All you need is a blender to smooth the textures and emulsify the flavors. Stay cool this summer with this sweet and refreshing version with cucumbers and apples.

Cucumber Tofu Bundles

Cucumber Tofu Bundles

Nasoya.com

This bite-sized, vegetarian appetizer pairs refreshing cucumber with other Asian-inspired flavors. Click here for the recipe.

Dreamy Bites Ice Cream

Dreamy Bites Ice Cream

Frozen Paleo

OK, how about just a bite of ice cream? You know it will be incredibly hard to resist these delicious little guys on a hot day. Check out the recipe here.

Drenched Watermelon Ice Pops

Drenched Watermelon Ice Pops

Ice Pops

This ice pop is called “drenched” because it is suggested that you squeeze lime juice over them as you eat it. 

Try it for yourself with the Drenched Watermelon Ice Pops recipe.

French Picnic Lentil Salad

French Picnic Lentil Salad

Shutterstock

This French lentil salad is delicious whether served cold or at room temperature. It holds up well in the fridge for a few days, so make a lot in advance and enjoy multiple cool meals throughout the week. Find the French Picnic Lentil Salad recipe here.

Fresh Tomato Stew and Burrata

Fresh Tomato Stew and Burrata

The cool creaminess of burrata is enough to help you feel refreshed, but combined with juicy tomatoes, this fancy summer dish is an absolute winner. Click here to find the Fresh Tomato Strew and Burrata recipe.

Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Yoplait

Get your morning yogurt and granola in frozen bar form. You can "grab and go" for breakfast or a snack any time of day. Click here for the recipe.

Frozen Sangria

Frozen Sangria

Flavors of mango, peach, white wine, and brandy are blended with ice, resulting in a tantalizing slushie made just for adults. Find the recipe here.

Greek Salad Skewers

Greek Salad Skewers

shutterstock

Summer appetizers don’t get any easier than these salad skewers stacked with all your favorite Greek salad ingredients. Click here for the recipe.

Green Herb Ceviche With Cucumber

Green Herb Ceviche With Cucumber

Susie Cushman

Chicago mega-chef Rick Bayless makes this light and refreshing ceviche that requires no heat — just some simple knife skills and a blender. Check out the recipe by clicking here.

Green Lemonade Smoothie

Green Lemonade Smoothie

Vitamin Shoppe

Harness the true healthy power of spinach with this recipe. This smoothie will make you feel great and ready to take on a hot day.

Click here for the recipe.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese

Heirloom Tomato Caprese

Terrapin Restaurant

This rendition of Caprese salad uses the best heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella around, and then tosses them in basil pesto before drizzling on balsamic vinaigrette.

To find the recipe, click here.

Jicama Salad With Mint Crema

Jicama Salad With Mint Crema

Gentle &  Hyers

Imagine crossing a potato, an apple, and a cucumber, and you have jicama. Jicama is starchy, crisp, and utterly refreshing.  

Click here for the recipe.

Lemon Mint Granita

Lemon Mint Granita

Frozen Paleo

You can’t deny the fresh and cooling attributes of a well-made granita. The ice crystals melt on your tongue, releasing a wealth of flavor certain to make you smile.

For the Lemon-Mint Granita recipe, click here.

Mediterranean Watermelon Feta Skewers

Mediterranean Watermelon Feta Skewers

Spear cubes of cheese and watermelon between basil and olives on skewers. To serve, arrange the skewers on a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

To find the recipe, click here.

Naeng-Myeon Ice-Cold Noodles

Naeng-Myeon Ice-Cold Noodles

The name says it all: “ice-cold.” Korean naeng-myeon noodles contain buckwheat flour that gives them a springy texture. Get the recipe here.

Organic Lime Fruit Salad

Organic Lime Fruit Salad

Be Mindful Be Human

Fresh fruit is tossed in tart lime juice and just a touch of sugar. For this simple fruit salad recipe, click here.

Organic Bruschetta With Garden Tomatoes and Homemade Ricotta

Organic Bruschetta With Garden Tomatoes and Homemade Ricotta

Be Mindful Be Human

Bread is topped with light, fresh ricotta and sliced tomatoes — you can never go wrong with this dish. Click through for the recipe.

Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho

Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho

Wholefoods

Pineapple adds both a sweet and acidic note to a classic gazpacho. This soup is also garnished with macadamia nuts for an extra touch of richness.

For the Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho recipe, click here.

Quinoa Salad With Shaved Raw Vegetables and Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Quinoa Salad With Shaved Raw Vegetables and Carrot-Ginger Dressing

If you’ve only eaten Brussels sprouts and asparagus cooked, you’ll be surprised at how good they are raw and thinly sliced. To find the recipe, click here.  

Raw Harvest Kale Salad

Raw Harvest Kale Salad

M Cafe

When working with kale, it’s important to break down the tough fibers either through massaging with your hands (gloves make this easy) or tossing well with the lemon flaxseed vinaigrette and letting it rest long before serving.

For the recipe, click here.

Refreshing Rosemary Lemonade

Refreshing Rosemary Lemonade

Shutterstock

What can be more refreshing than lemonade? Try this special recipe that incorporates the tartness of lemons with the savory quality of rosemary. Find the recipe here.  

Savory Carrot-Coconut Granita With Cucumber Topping

Savory Carrot-Coconut Granita With Cucumber Topping

The combination may sound unusual, but this dish is the perfect cold snack or inter-meal palate cleanser. A combination of coconut and carrot juice becomes a savory iced granita, then is topped with crunchy, fresh cucumbers. Interesting? Yes. Will it cool you down? Absolutely. Click here for the recipe.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad

Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad

Perdue

This salad is perfect for that leftover chicken in your refrigerator. Shred it and toss with a gingery vinaigrette; no heat, no fuss, just good eats. Find the recipe here.

Shredded Carrots With Tahini Dressing

Shredded Carrots With Tahini Dressing

Shutterstock

Sweet, cool carrots are shredded then dressed in flavorful yet light tahini dressing. Check it out here.

Spinach, Strawberry, and Black Bean Salad

Spinach, Strawberry, and Black Bean Salad

As the title suggests, spinach, strawberry, and black beans scattered with sliced almonds combine to make this great summer salad lunch. Click here for the recipe.

Strawberry-Lime Frozen Cheesecake Pops

Strawberry-Lime Frozen Cheesecake Pops

These cheesecake pops won’t heat up your kitchen. In fact, they’ll cool you off!

Click here for the recipe.

Strawberry Soup

Strawberry Soup

Shutterstock

This velvety summer soup is reminiscent of strawberries and whipped cream. In a refreshing twist, sour cream and tart lemon juice are swirled into the base making this soup vibrant and acidic.

Check out the recipe for this chilly Strawberry Soup here.

Thai Style Quinoa Salad

Thai Style Quinoa Salad

Shutterstock

Crisp sliced cabbage, diced cucumber, shredded carrot, sliced scallion, edamame, and diced red bell pepper are all folded into the quinoa in this filling grain salad. Check out the recipe here.

Triple Tomato Panzanella

Triple Tomato Panzanella

Enjoy Life

Juicy tomatoes are so tantalizing on a hot summer day. This salad is perfect as a side or appetizer and is studded with fresh croutons so it will fill you up.

Click here for the recipe.

Tuna Salad With Grapes and Lemon Tarragon Dressing

Tuna Salad With Grapes and Lemon Tarragon Dressing

Shutterstock

Grapes add a contrasting texture, pretty color, and a welcome subtle sweetness that's quite unexpected in this cool tuna salad recipe.

Click here for the recipe.

Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe

Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe

Michael's

Very simple but sensational, this dish is easy to make as the broth can be prepared early in the day and the tuna can be diced and kept refrigerated until ready to mix at the last minute. To find the recipe, click here.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

Haylie Duff

Watermelons are 92 percent water so you know this cold soup will quench your thirst. In this recipe, the sweet flavors of watermelon and tomato come together in a refreshing gazpacho.

For the Watermelon Gazpacho recipe, click here.

Watermelon Soup With Fresh Lobster

Watermelon Soup With Fresh Lobster

Eric O'neil

This soup combines the cool sweetness of watermelon, the spiciness of raw ginger, and the salinity of fresh lobster. Salivating yet? Click here to find the recipe.