It’s Texas out there again, friends, by which I mean it’s hot. In my search to beat the heat, I scanned some of the (many) badge tasks left to be done for this little adventure to see if something might help.
The “Let’s Get Cooking!” badge opened up a small window for me — it calls for scouts to be creative with a blender to create fruit smoothies. But here’s the thing. I’m already pretty much a fruit smoothie pro. Give me a couple of peaches, a mango, some berries, an orange, some yogurt, and a little whey protein powder and I’ll make you a pretty satisfied customer. You want some home-made V-8? I can call that up for you, too.
So as cooling as a good smoothie is on a hot summer day, it seemed like a bit of cheat to go in this direction. But since the intent of this task is to experiment with healthy foods and a blender, I decided to raid the veggie drawer and try my hand at an unknown quantity: cold soup.
It rocked, it’s easy, and here’s what you’ll need to duplicate this recipe:
- 1/2 large onion
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 2 summer squash
- 1 apple
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 heavy cream (substitute yogurt or a lighter cream, I s’pose)
- curry powder, salt, and pepper to taste
Readers of this blog know that a) my husband does the cooking in this house, and b) we pay a little extra to have great, organic, and locally-sourced vegetables delivered to us each week.*
In other words, I had no hand in choosing these vegetables. In fact, until I opened the veggie drawer, I didn’t even know what was in there. Here’s what I found:
CONFESSION TIME: I thought that curved green item was a kind of neat-o zucchini, but it’s not. Check it out:
One slice suggested cucumber, and it was, in fact, an Armenian cucumber. It’s really delicious, but I put it back in the drawer for another adventure.
Down to business, then. First step: Chop up about half of that big onion and those cloves of garlic.
And sauté oh-so-gently in your bestest olive oil. Charles has taught me not to rush this stage; a slow, steady approach will yield superior taste in the end. So go for that translucence!
While the onions and garlic were simmering, I chopped up the squash. BONUS: Because we’re making soup in a blender our chopping aesthetics don’t matter one bit. WOO HOO!
… and I threw in that lone apple for good measure and a touch of sweetness…
I tossed the chopped squash and apple in with the onions and garlic, continuing to sauté until the new additions started to soften up. And at this point, I added my seasonings: a generous sprinkling of kosher salt, many twists of the pepper grinder, and about a dozen good shakes of the curry powder.
(Look, generations of women before us never measured a damned thing. Fannie Farmer was the gal who standardized kitchen measurements. Know how I know this? Because I wrote a post about it!).
Seasoned and softened, I added enough chicken broth to almost cover the other ingredients. I’d say it was just shy of three cups or so. I brought it to a simmer and let it be for about 10 minutes.
Satisfied with my blend, it went into a bowl and into the fridge to thoroughly cool. This, of course, meant dinner wasn’t ready until 10:00 p.m.
But the rest was so easy! The cooled ingredients went into the blender, along with the heavy cream, and within seconds of pressing the on button… SOUP!
And as for a garnish? A small extra splash of cream, coupled with sprigs of fresh parsley and mint from pots on the patio.
This soup was so good that Charles said so. Twice. (A first.)
So bravo to blending, bravo to raiding the veggie drawer, bravo to cold, summer soups. Feel free to share your favorite recipes; I might be on a roll, here!
*The exception to this statement: we’re growing peppers and tomatoes in the backyard garden. We’re having a pretty good year, too. I grabbed this pic about two weeks ago after a lovely morning haul: