The first cold soup of the season is here! ;-) Not because it is particularly hot today, but because my beloved Haas avocados were 5 for $5.00 at Whole Foods on Friday and I bought a bunch of them. I have posted plenty of avocado soups here (just type in avocado soup on the search function of this blog to see them). Many were blended with other ingredients (watercress, cucumber, zucchini...), but I liked the simplicity (and ease) of Mark Bittman's Fast Avocado Soup. A few minutes in the blender and then time to chill is all it takes. I used coconut milk to keep it vegan/dairy free.
Mark Bittman says, "Creamy, with a gorgeous color, this soup couldn’t be simpler. If you like, dress it up with chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced scallion, chopped chervil or mint, or a dollop of crème fraîche (or any of those in combination). Or see the variation for some seafood additions."
Fast Avocado Soup
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman or at markbittman.com
(Makes 4 Servings)
3 or 4 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped (about 2 cups)
3 cups milk, preferably whole milk (I used coconut milk)
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange or lime juice, or to taste (optional)
Put the chopped avocado in a blender. Add half the milk, a large pinch of salt, and a small pinch of cayenne and process to a purée. Beat in the remaining milk, then chill for up to 6 hours if you have time (press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the soup so it doesn’t discolor).
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, add the citrus juice if you’re using it, and serve—in chilled bowls if you want to be precise.
Variation: Fast Avocado and Seafood Soup. Before preparing the soup, chop some boiled shrimp (or if you have any leftover grilled, use that) or cooked crabmeat. If you like, toss it in a little vinaigrette, but a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of citrus is just fine. Chill while you prepare the soup. Serve a spoonful of seafood on top of each bowlful.
Notes/Results: Rich and creamy, slightly tart with a slow kick of cayenne at the end, a simple and tasty cold soup. I know blended avocado isn't everyone's
It's Potluck this coming week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--our time to make any Nigel Slater dish or a dish from any former IHCC chef, like Mark Bittman. I'll be linking this soup up once the post goes live and you can see what everyone made for Potluck by checking out the picture links on the post.
It's a busy day in the Souper Sundays kitchen and we have some fabulous friends and their creations waiting --let's have a look!
Joyce of Kitchen Flavours shares this pretty bowl of Noodles, Chicken Broth and Chives and says, "Really nice! I ate this with some chillies from my potted garden, sliced and mixed with some soy sauce. The broth is really nice, especially since I've used my homemade chicken stock instead of water, and I like the light lemony taste of the broth. I did not squeeze over anymore lemon juice over the noodles, as it is already good as it is. Having the chives whole as it is in a soup is really a very Chinese way of eating it, as chives are usually left whole when it is cooked with Chinese wheat vermicelli, which is usually cooked when celebrating a birthday for the elderly, as it represents long life with many more birthdays to come!"
Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brings us flavorful French Lemon Artichoke Soup and says, "This lemony mixture of artichokes, onions, celery, zucchini, and young potatoes is a delectable soup that reminds me of the Middle Eastern version of the traditional French recipe Ratatouille. Same idea; different ingredients. Cooked until soft and blended, " chamid" is often eaten over rice ( Basmati is great). To make it a complete meal, just add 1 cup of cooked chick peas."
My friend and fellow IHCC co-host Sue of Couscous & Consciousness is here with a budget-friendly bowl of Curried Carrot, Lentil & Roasted Tomato Soup and says, "The verdict: This could not taste less like "just a bunch of boiled up carrots". My carrot soup phobia is over. This soup is heavenly ... plenty of sweetness from the carrots, balanced out by the roasted tomatoes, some earthiness and "comfort" from the lentils, sweetness and fragrance from the coconut milk, and a little heat from the curry powder. I will definitely be making this soup again, and next time I'm going to try replacing the curry powder with a little harissa - I think the flavours would be great with the carrots and tomatoes, and the kick of heat won't go astray either."
Mireille of Chef Mireille's East West Realm has a soup and two salads to share this week. First up, her summer-ready Thai Cabbage Corn Soup. She says, "Corn is one of my favorite foods and during the summer when fresh corn both of the yellow and white variety is available in abundance is when corn is the star on my table a few times a week. ... I used Thai flavors in this simple soup as the pantry was full of them after a recent event I hosted with lots of Thai food. This soup includes that delicate dance that Thai food always has with sweet, salty, spicy and tart."
Mireille's first salad is this hearty Wheatberry Salad, She says, "How about trying this version instead of the usual macaroni salad. Using whole wheat berries is a fiber rich way to still enjoy this tasty salad. ... Whole Wheat berries are a great alternative to rice, with much more added health value. However, it will take a little getting used to the texture if you are used to soft rice or pasta. It has more bite to it and is more chewy."
Mireille's final dish this week is a veg-filled pasta salad, Pasta Primavera al Fresco. She says, "This pasta dish is perfect for summer as it is made with an uncooked sauce. It is cool, refreshing and light. The traditional Italian version only includes tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil along with the cheese. If you can get smoked mozzarella, it is even better. I didn't have time to get to the specialty cheese store so I had to use plain old mozzarella. However, since I had a bunch of veggies in the bin, I added some vegetables to make this dish healthier and more vegetable rich."
Jo of yummyvege is back this week bringing colorful Red Cabbage Salad with Miso Dressing. Jo says, "Today I bring you a salad which is crunchy, and maybe a bit different to what you eat most days and of course totally yummy. It’s quick and easy to make. Make sure you use the dressing though as this is what makes it really special. A fab mix of salty from the miso and sharp from the lime and vinegar. I served this with sauteed seitan and a baked potato."
Pam of Sidewalk Shoes walks on the veg-side with this Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette and says, "I am not a vegetarian. There is nothing I like better than a perfectly cooked ribeye. However, like many of you, I do try to limit my intake of meat. So, an occasional meatless meal works it’s way onto my weekly menu. Let me just say that if all of my endeavors into meatless eating ended like this one, I might give the whole vegetarian thing a little more thought. This was wonderful. It was super easy and the “Mole” vinaigrette gave it such a wonderful flavor. You couldn’t quite tell what the flavor was, you just knew that it was good."
Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food made this Mushrooms, Cucumber Noodle Salad and says, "There are a few things that I like to do in batches e.g making hard-boiled eggs. I would typically make four to six at one go and store them in the fridge. At least when I don't prepare any proteins on any other day, this is the source of protein. ... I also like making a base (concentrated) of tomatoes, onions, garlic in advance, and sometimes add mushrooms. This can be useful when making soups, add some noodles if you wish to make a one-dish meal. If you want a less-mess soup-less version, heat up the base sauce, toss with noodles or pasta and then serve with easily prepared toppings e.g. cucumber, hard-boiled eggs (or sliced egg muffins)."
And Janet of The Taste Space shares these salady Laotian Tofu Larb Lettuce Wraps and says, "This is a spin on Laotian larb. Of note, Rob tells me this is nothing like the original and in fact, if you pronounce the r in larb, that is wrong, too. Make no mistake about its simplicity, this salad wrap was GREAT! A few fun points: This was the first time I have steamed tofu. I LOVED it. It made it nice and fluffy and once crumbled, it absorbed the flavours of the marinade incredibly well. Lime juice, cilantro, in a salty-hot-sweet background, it was nice, fresh and light. After an overnight soak, it was absolutely perfect and lasted for a few days of lovely leftovers for lunch."
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 my sidebar for all of the details.
Have a happy, healthy week and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!