Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cucumber Avocado Soup: A Healthy Raw Bowl for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I try to listen to what my body is craving and wants me to eat, which sometimes means having to block out my mind, which more often than not is liable to say "cupcakes, chocolate or french fries" when consulted. For the mind it is all about immediate gratification, what it thinks it wants. My body on the other hand will "tell" me what it needs. Maybe it requires protein, or it needs some healthy fats, or thinks it is time to pile on the green veggies. This weekend the body's cravings have been mostly for "cooling" foods, like juicy fruits and vegetables, so it seemed like a good time to try this easy, raw Cucumber Avocado Soup from "The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks and Drinks For Your Raw Food Lifestyle" by Carol Alt.


You might remember that I made a guacamole-ish looking raw soup a couple weeks ago; this one is lighter but still very satisfying from the avocado. It is flavorful and good, and perfect for lunch or dinner when the weather is warm.

Alt says, "This soup is so light and fresh that one thing you won't feel after eating it is "fat." But it has the kind of fat your body really needs."


Cucumber Avocado Soup
Adapted from "The Raw 50" by Carol Alt
(Serves 4)

4 large cucumbers, cleaned, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
1 Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4 cups purified water

Put all of the ingredients in the blender and whir them until creamy smooth. Pour into bowls and serve.

Tip: The phrase "cool as a cucumber" refers to the fact that cucumbers have such a high water content that they can remain 20 degrees cooler than the outside air when the temperature spikes. The cuke is a diminutive cousin to the watermelon, works as a diuretic, and has other cleansing properties. Besides being one of the most refreshing things to eat, it can be used topically to soothe burns and sores and soften the skin.


Notes/Results: Very good--great flavor and light, but still filling from the healthy fats. I did make a few changes--making a half-batch but keeping the same amount of avocado in it. I just wanted the texture a bit thicker. I also added a little extra lemon juice and a touch of sea salt and black pepper, which brought out more of the flavor. I'll make this again.




Let's see who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week:

Denny from Oh Taste n See is back this week and with a beautiful bowl of Chilled Carrot Coriander Soup. Denny says, "This soup resembles a gazpacho, in that it is served cold. But, unlike a gazpacho which uses raw vegetables, here the vegetables are cooked. This is also a ‘stove free’ or ‘hands free’ soup. Yep, all you need is the oven and a blender/food processor. I roasted the carrots with some spices and then pureed it in the food processor with some yogurt. Adding the creamy yogurt and the little flecks of green from the coriander to the soup, made it cool, refreshing and perfect for the summer weather."



Spencer ("The Mouse") from Live2EatEat2Live took a cue from a favorite Disney movie and made a hearty "Mouseatouille"--his take on a ratatouille or vegetable stew. Spencer says, "Was the stew “authentic?” Probably not. Was I trying to be “authentic?” Definitely not. For me, part of the fun is getting inspired by food and putting my own twist on it. Along with salt and pepper, I used basil, marjoram, and oregano for seasoning. The Mouse was inspired by a rat, how appropriate, thanks Remy."



Julie from A Little Bit of Everything made a beautifully-colored Sour Cherry Soup and says, "Do you like cold soups? My first experience with cold soup was at a tea room in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I loved the creamy texture. A bowl of cold soup is almost too much to serve with a meal. A small amount, however, is a refreshing treat on a hot summer day!
If you're looking to try a cold summer soup, give this one a try. It has a nice, not too sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon.
"



Please join me in welcoming Desiree from SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl, from Cincinnati, making her first appearance at Souper Sundays. Desiree made a hearty Potato, Cream Cheese, Bacon & Chive Soup and says, "I don't usually make soup so I thought this would be a good time to broaden my horizons, and I had been eyeing a recipe of Reeni's over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. It has everything that I love - potatoes, cream cheese, and bacon. This soup tastes good as leftovers. Like I said, I am not really a soup kind of person. But when it has so many things that I like, why wouldn't I like it!? I can't wait to make this again :)" Nice to have you Desiree!



It is lovely to have Lynde from Vinegarlic back again this week and with a bright green and healthy bowl of Turkey Chili Verde. Lynde says, "Chili verde is a refreshing dish that incorporates a lot of beautiful summer produce. It is a great make-ahead meal; like all chili, it is even better reheated than when freshly made."



Reeni from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice has a gorgeous bowl of Spicy Gazpacho with Lime Shrimp to share this week and says, "You can serve gazpacho as an appetizer shooter-style or kick it up to main dish status with the addition of grilled shrimp or chicken marinated in lime and cilantro. The silky base of the soup is made of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper and jalapeno pureed along with stale bread, olive oil and lime juice. For serving it's topped with diced vegetables, croutons and in this case, shrimp."



Kim from Stirring the Pot made a fun Cheesy-Spicy Corn and Corn Chip Salad this week and says, "This salad is a combination of corn, which has been cooked and sliced off the cob, shredded monterey jack cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped bell peppers, chopped jalapenos, sliced red onion, and chopped cilantro. Everything gets tossed with a bit of mayo and then topped with crushed Fritos. This salad makes for a gorgeous presentation and we really enjoyed it."



Joanne from Eats Well With Others made Michael Symon's Heirloom Tomato Salad with Red Onions, Dill, and Feta. Joanne says. "Although I will say that you have to actually use heirloom tomatoes for this, at least if you want to get the full delicious effect. I used to be of the opinion that all tomatoes were created equal. I was wrong. Heirlooms tomatoes have such complex, intriguing flavors. That they put regular old vine-ripened Camparis. To shame. And take what would be an otherwise ordinary tomato salad with feta and dill. And make it something that you will actually start to crave."



It is great to have Lauren at Healthy. Delicious. back this week at Souper Sundays. Lauren made a gorgeous Porcini Dusted Ribeye and accompanied it with this colorful Green Bean Salad. She says, "I came up with this porcini dusted steak with red wine sauce and a summery green bean, corn, and tomato salad on a whim, and I couldn’t have been happier with it. The salad was light and fresh, featuring some of the best that August has to offer. And the whole thing was on the table in under 15 minutes. Which meant I could get back to the couch and put my feet up in half the time it would have taken to get a pizza delivered."



Janet from The Taste Space made another amazing grain salad, this Wheat Berry, White Bean and Edamame Salad, and says, "This was a light yet hearty salad at the same time. It was hearty with one of my favourite whole grains: wheat berries. Nutty and chewy, they can really hold their own in a salad. Sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy edamame beans and white beans are added for further textural and nutritional contrast. The dressing is a plain red wine vinegar vinaigrette and the red onions add the bit of kick needed for such a simple salad."



Pam from Sidewalk Shoes made a Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Salad and says, "I made this with brown rice. It’s my effort to be healthier. I shouldn’t have. Though I try, I just can’t embrace the whole grain thing. I much prefer white bread over whole wheat, regular pasta instead of whole wheat and white rice over brown. So, making this recipe with brown rice already kicks it down a notch in my book. I am posting this because my husband liked it. It was nice and healthy and a way to use up some leftover chicken. I think it could be jazzed up a bit, maybe some lime juice or something."



girlichef used Chile Colorado, a spicy, flavorful beefy filling to make these Tortas con Chile Colorado, a hearty Mexican sandwich. girlichef says, "I went ahead and used my filling in tortas for dinner that day. I toasted the bolillo on the cut sides, then flipped and added crema, romaine, cilantro and the hot chile colorad. I added the tops and toasted both sides...sliding in some avocado at the end. Soooooo good."



Another great group of recipes this week! Thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a wonderful week!

17 comments:

girlichef said...

You know, I have never made an avocado soup, but always wanted to. Um, helllooo!? This sounds like a good place for me to start. Looks creamy and cooling =) Another delightful roundup this week, Deb!

Fresh Local and Best said...

The cucumber avocado soup looks like it fits the bill for what your body was seeking. I think it was a good decision to use more avocado than the recipe called for, the texture looks so silky.

K and S said...

looks so bright and refreshing!

Pam said...

Great round up as always!!

Reeni said...

Your avocado soup is gorgeous! I am loving all that buttery avocado you used. And thanks again for including me in this delicious round-up!

blackcatkitchen said...

Thank you for blogging about this! I have a few cucumbers that need to be used and was looking for a soup! I can't wait to make it :)

Lynde said...

Your soup looks like health in a bowl! I have never eaten a cold soup, but I think I have to try this one. Thank you for including the chili verde.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love the colour - so vibrant and refreshing looking!

Joanne said...

Hmmm maybe that's my problem. I listen to my mind and not my body far too often. This soup looks so refreshing Deb! And the round up couldn't be better!

vickdn said...

MMM everyone's looks delish! I hope to try an avocado soup but I am not big on cucumbers. Thanks for sharing!

Lori said...

I can't decide what I like more, the flavors in your soups or the color! Another great one!

I've been a slacker with making any soups, salads or sammies lately. I need to get cracking for some more submissions.

Zibi said...

What a round-up! Your avocado cucumber soup has my mouth watering. It sounds great and you've photographed it beautifully :)

5 Star Foodie said...

A lovely light and refreshing soup! I love the combination of ingredients here.

Ruby said...

Mmm... My kids rarely like soup but I think this is one they would enjoy - thanks!

Judy said...

Congrats on your Top 9!

Pierce said...

Avocados are a weakness of ours........I love the round up you did, lots of good recipes to choose from!

Kim said...

Whew- way behind on commenting! Your cucumber avocado soup looks like a silky creamy bowl of deliciousness. I'm really loving that fun green color. It's very appealing!

Lots of tasty recipes this week. Thanks for including me in the roundup.