With pints of on-sale blueberries in my fridge and freezer, and a desire to see if blueberries and a blender can create something that isn't a smoothie, I decided to try make a Blueberry Gazpacho. I searched on line, but the few recipes I came up with were all more of a dessert-style, playing up on the sweet. I wanted something that combined the sweet with spicy and had enough tangy acidity to balance it all out, so I just threw together my own. It's unusual but refreshing, flavorful, pretty and great for a starter on a warm, humid day.
Blueberry Gazpacho with Avocado & Feta
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Appetizer Servings)
5 cups fresh blueberries, divided + extra for topping
2 cups black/purple grapes
1 shallot, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup white grape juice (or other fruit juice of choice)
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh mint
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
juice of 2 limes or to taste
1/2 large cucumber, diced
avocado to garnish (optional)
feta to garnish (optional)
Place 4 cups of the blueberries, grapes, shallot, celery, jalapeno, juice, cilantro and mint into the blender and blend on high until mostly smooth. Add salt, black pepper and lime juice to taste. Stir in diced cucumber and I cup of the blueberries. Chill for a few hours or overnight in fridge. Serve very cold in small bowls or cups, garnished with diced avocado, crumbled feta and a few blueberries.
Notes/Results: Cold and refreshing. The combination of sweet and tangy, finished by a nice kick from the jalapeno hits the spot. I left the soup somewhat chunky--I like it that way, but you could certainly puree it more and/or put it through a sieve. To keep it vegan, leave off the feta (although the saltiness and texture add a lot) and garnish with the avocado and more mint and cilantro. I would make this again!
We have a soup and some lovely salads waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen--let's take a look.
Simona of Briciole made this pretty flower-flecked noodle-filled bowl of "Stained Glass" Maltagliati in Broth and says, "My husband having a cold and chicken soup becoming a daily menu item, maltagliati recommended themselves as being suitable for a steaming bowl of my chicken broth/stock. Bring the broth of choice to a boil, toss the pasta in it and cook until tender. Ladle into bowls, distribute some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and serve immediately."
Tigerfish of Teczcape-An Escape to Food brings this light and lovely Cucumber Appetizer Salad with Sesame Oil-Soy Dressing and says, "Summer IS the season for cooling cucumbers. Plus who could resist the organic cucumber when they go on-sale at 88 cents each. To neutralize the "cool" (yin) of the cucumber, I am going to add warm (yang) elements to it. Red chili flakes and raw garlic should do the trick. This Chinese-style cucumber salad is dressed in sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce."
Janet of The Taste Space offers up a satisfying Broccoli and Kasha Bowl with an Onion-Miso-Dill Dressing and says, "With a focus on simpler meals, I made the dressing first and then decided what to toss with it. And yes, this was a glorious dressing. It seems so weird. Raw onion? Dill? Miso? But trust me, it worked so well. I also tried a creamier version with tofu-cashew mayonnaise and liked that, too. I picked kasha, but any grain would work here. Brown rice? Quinoa? Choose your favourite veggie but broccoli complemented the tangy dill-miso dressing well."
Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares what just might be “possibly the best salad I’ve ever made"--an Apple and Avocado Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime. She says, "Everything about this salad works. The tartness of the lime juice, the crisp apples, the smooth creamy avocado, the mild flavor and soft crunch of the cucumbers, the bright mint, and the tangy feta. The salad called for watercress, which I’m sure would have added even another element – a bit of a peppery bite, but I couldn’t find any, so I subbed some spring greens. I served this along side a grilled spatchcocked chicken and it was perfect. It was even better the next day, which is something you can’t say for a lot of salads."
Kim of Stirring the Pot tried Yotam Ottolenghi's Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds and says, "Tender leaves of baby spinach, sweet chewy dates, thin slivers of red onion, crispy pita bread croutons with crunchy slivers of almonds kissed with the exotic blend of sumac and red chile flakes, all tossed together in a bright citrus dressing. It all comes together to create a very delicious and rather unique salad. This is a salad for the senses. Sweet, chewy, tender, crispy, crunchy, citrusy, with mild onion flavor, and bright citrus notes. It looks a bit exotic. It tastes a bit exotic. It feels indulgent and it is. However, it's also perfectly healthy. I encourage you to give it a try."
Some wonderful warm-weather dishes! Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. 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 happy, healthy week!