Meatless Monday: Cooling Avocado-Cucumber Soup
Soup from scratch is one of my favorite things to make. In the winter, a bowl of hot soup is comforting and warming, with the added bonus of providing meals for several days.
In the summer I don’t have much of a taste for anything hot, including soup. So instead, I’ve collected several chilled-soup recipes that have become summer staples. This is one of them.
The cucumbers make this soup very cooling and refreshing, and the avocados give the soup substance. Because the flavors of both are somewhat neutral, it’s the other ingredients—lime, garlic, white miso and dill weed—that provide a subtle but flavorful balance. This soup is extremely simple to make.
A recipe from Ron Pickarski’s Friendly Foods, I’ve been making this Omega-3-rich soup every summer for decades. It has a delicate taste that’s complex at the same time. It’s completely vegan and gluten free. I like to serve it with a sliced homegrown tomato on the side.
A note about Friendly Foods: Ron Pickarski is a four-star chef who is also a Franciscan monk. He was the first vegan chef to medal in the Culinary Olympics back in 1980. He received the first gold medal for vegan cuisine in 1996. The book contains some of his award-winning recipes. I’ve made a number of them over the years for special occasions and found them all to be well worth the extra effort.
Cream of Avocado and Cucumber Soup
1-1/4 cups avocado pulp, tightly packed
2-1/4 cups peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
2 T fresh lime juice
1 cup soy milk (I used almond milk this time around and probably added almost another cup to make the soup more liquid.)
1/8 to 1/4 t white pepper
2 t minced garlic
5 T white miso
2 t dill weed
thinly sliced scallions or chives for garnish
Put all the ingredients except the scallions into a blender and blend until smooth. Cool and serve, garnished with the scallions or chives. If ingredients are cold to start with, the soup may be served immediately. If the soup is left in the refrigerator for long, the surface may oxidize and turn dark. If it does, simply skim off the surface and use the rest. The flavor is not affected by the oxidation, but the soup doesn’t look as appetizing.
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