Do you ever do that thing where you simplify something to such an extent that it sounds totally weird? Like when you realise that you can truthfully describe ‘reading a book’ as ‘staring at a dead tree and hallucinating for hours on end while feeling wild swings of emotion’? I recently had a similar epiphany with soup. Soup, in essence, is just a bunch of food with water around it. That’s it. Take a bunch of food, throw it together with some water, and you’ve got soup. Yes, there are some extra steps along the way in terms of details, but in essence, that’s all it takes to make soup.
Therefore, I contend that smoothies are soup. A delicious soup. The only soup keeping me from going crazy throughout the blazing summer that we have been having here in South Africa.
Try this Berry and Currant Fruit soup recipe here!
There’s a reason I write for a soup blog – yes, it mainly stems from my love of all things food-related, but it’s also because soup is a delicious and healthy way to add nutritious food to your diet that you may not necessarily get by making traditional meals. My problem, as November rolled around and our collective thermometers in the southern hemisphere started steadily rising, was that even though I love soup, I could not stomach it during the summer.
I am very affected by changes in temperature. For example, if it’s 20 degrees or lower, I will often declare to my husband that we must move somewhere hotter (his rebuttal is to point out that we live in Africa and I’ve seen snow only twice in my lifetime). As a result, when summer hits, just the thought of something that has been simmering on a stovetop or served steaming is enough to get me to start sweating. Then I discovered smoothies.
My first foray into smoothies was simply because of time constraints. I was so busy most days that I simply couldn’t be bothered to figure out what to eat for lunch. We had a ton of berries in the freezer and some bananas that were getting ripe, so I decided to bung them together, blitz them up with a couple spoonfuls of yoghurt, charge with water, and I had a cooling, filling, and nutritious lunch. It was an absolute revelation. I’ve been religiously drinking smoothies for the last few months now, even as the weather is starting to turn a little cooler.
I can’t recommend it enough – particularly if you’re happy to add vegetables to it to boost your nutrient intake. My usual smoothie is a banana, a few scoops of mixed berries, some low-fat strawberry yoghurt, and a generous handful of Swiss chard spinach (don’t worry, you can’t taste it that much). However, like soup, smoothies are meant for experimentation. Want something a little more filling? Try it out with chia seeds or substitute almond milk for water. Have extra vegetables or fruits in the fridge that are just sitting around? Go ahead and add that mushy apple into the mix!
Smoothies during Summertime Heat
As summer in our hemisphere comes to a close, I am left with the unenviable prospect of cold mornings, warm afternoons, and chilly evenings. That, and I am sad to let my smoothies go, but I welcome the hot version of soup back into my life with open arms. I’m going to need something warm to get me through these cold, cold, 20 degree days.
Thank you for the memories, summertime smoothie. We’ll meet again soon.
What’s your favourite smoothie? Let me know so that I can get inspiration ready for next summer!