I have a quick little soup for you today and it’ll take me longer to tell you about it than it will for you to make it. So gather round for a brief chat and then grab your blender and a handful of ingredients and get going.
It’s a chilled soup – you might even be tempted to call it a gazpacho, but I’d advise against it because it’s unbelievable creamy. While I haven’t (yet) posted a true tomato and cucumber gazpacho on the site, you might want to check out salmorejo, a Spanish tomato soup I first tried in Seville, or cucumber mint gazpacho adapted from Ten Tables in Provincetown.
But back to today’s recipe. I came across it when Rivka mentioned that it was time for one of her oft-repeated cold summer soups. As I’ve been forced to close my window shades from dusk until dawn when I’m not home and crank up the air conditioning while I sleep, it’s a welcome reprieve with a some jalapeño heat – but not enough to get you sweating again – requiring the same amount of effort as cleaning your blender when you’re done.
It does greatly benefit from a little bit of crunch to balance out the creaminess, so I toasted up some lavash chips. The lavash itself has a little story, one that left me and my colleagues in a fit of giggles. Friday morning, I was greeted in the restaurant office by the following note perched upon a 4-inch stack of wraps, tortillas, and lavash.
A guest last night left this for you: endless possibilities… Some guests palm a hundred for a table. Others shower you in flatbread, I guess.
The prior evening, a bakery owner had stopped in for dinner and when we were chatting about his work, he said he’d leave me a few samples from his bakery. I schlepped the bread home, toasted it up with a spray of olive oil and a sprinkle of fleur de sel, and served it next to the soup. Luckily I have enough lavash to for an entire summer’s worth of chilled soup.
Cucumber Avocado Soup
Adapted from Not Derby Pie’s recipe. This is one of those recipes where you barely chop the ingredients, throw them into a blender, and press a button. One minute later, maybe two, you have soup. It is quite thick and creamy – if you’d like, add additional cucumbers and extra water to thin it out a bit. Top with something crunchy for a little texture – I used toasted lavash, but pita or tortilla chips would be great too.
Update 6/23/14: To thin the soup out a bit, I doubled the cucumbers, and then added a bit extra salt. Excellent!
Makes approximately 6 cups
– 3 avocados, preferably Hass, halved and roughly chopped
– 3/4 lb seedless cucumbers (I used 5 large Persian cucumbers), roughly chopped
– 2 pickled jarred jalapeño peppers, chopped (with seeds), more to taste
– 1 1/4 cup yogurt (I used Greek; if you use regular yogurt, the soup might be a little bit thinner – not necessarily a bad thing in my book)
– 20 fresh chives, roughly chopped
– 20 mint leaves
– 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
– salt and pepper to taste
Blend. Combine all ingredients in a blender, starting with half of the jalapeño and reserving 4-5 sprigs chives. Add 1/4 cup water to get the blending started, then blend on medium until completely smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and more jalapeno to taste. Thin out with extra water to get the texture that you want.
Chill. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Ladle. Fill bowls and garnish with chives, minced jalapeño, and/or mint. Serve with something crunchy.