Elegant and easy, this cold soup has been a staple in our house all summer long. Such a staple that I whirr it up in the blender at least every other week. We gobble it up in no time flat, and then want more and more. In fact, it’s been relegated to the status of something so simple and quick to make that it’s almost like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…almost.
But it really deserves a bit more attention than it’s gotten thus far. I posted the base of this soup when I first started this blog, but since that time I’ve made it so often that I could make it in my sleep! And I think I’ve perfected it now.
Cool and creamy, fresh tasting and rich…and dare I say it? Yep, it’s healthy, too. A perfect accompaniment to just about anything, and I know this because we’ve paired this soup with sandwiches, fresh tomato salads (yum), coucous and other grain salads, entrees, grilled foods, fruit salads, appetizers…you name it. But it’s also terrific just by itself for a light lunch on a hot day. It would make an elegant and impressive first course to any dinner party, too, which is something I need to remember for my next one. Give this recipe a shot and I think you’ll find that it becomes a favorite and a staple in your home, too.
And hey all you cooks and food fans out there, guess what? Julia Child’s 100th birthday would have been next Wednesday, August 15, and all over the world folks are paying tribute this week to the icon that was and is Julia. To celebrate and just for fun, I’m issuing an invitation/challenge on my Facebook page to choose and cook one of her dishes during the week leading up to her birthday, in particular a recipe from her “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook. Once you have your dish made and plated, take a picture and post it on your own Facebook or blog page as a happy birthday salute, then share it as a friend on the Bits and Breadcrumbs Facebook page. It’ll be fun to see what everyone chooses to make and how it comes out, and a lovely way to honor one of the greatest cooks of our time, and a hero of mine.
You can “like” Bits and Breadcrumbs on Facebook by clicking the Like button next to the Facebook Like box on the Home page of this blog, or you can follow this link and like it here. I’ll be posting a dish or two myself, of course, so stay tuned for the next post and the first of my “Salute to Julia” dishes, and I hope you’ll join me in the fun!
In the words of the Grande Dame herself, Bon Appétit!
Creamy Avocado Cucumber Soup
Makes 6 servings
(Note: This is NOT Julia Child’s recipe, this one is mine! Sorry for any confusion.)
I usually just prep each item and throw it in the blender as I go…see? Easy!
1 large English cucumber or 2 medium-sized regular cucumbers, peeled and seeds scraped out, then cut into large chunks
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
1 Haas avocado, pitted and peeled
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
1 medium sweet onion such as Vidalia, peeled and rough chopped
Juice of one juicy lemon, or about 3 good tablespoons of lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock, homemade or purchased low sodium
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, I use 2%, but you can use whole
5 to 6 drops of hot pepper sauce, such as habanero or tabasco
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into a blender, put the top on and pulse to chop the ingredients, then puree until you have a smooth and creamy soup. Taste for seasoning, and add more black pepper or more lemon juice if desired. Transfer to a bowl or jars and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve plain or with a small dollop of plain yogurt and garnish with mint leaves. Keeps well in the fridge for 3 days if you don’t eat it all right away!
For a tasty and even healthier variation, you can add 1-2 cups of fresh whole baby spinach leaves and about 1/3 cup more chicken stock or buttermilk. Green and good!