Cucumber and Avocado Soup

c2The past few weeks have been sweltering hot to say the least. I am not complaining, just stating fact. I adore this time of the year. Summer is relatively short so I have decided that no matter how hot it gets I’m not allowed to whine and complain. I know myself too well, come late fall I will long for the dog days of summer.

Even though I love the summer heat, I’m not a big fan of standing in front of a hot stove in this weather. I try to keep the stove use to a minimum and make everything as cool and fresh as possible. It is easy to skip down to the local farmer’s market to pick up ingredients. Fresh, fresh, fresh. Easy and healthy.

During this heat wave our friend Natalie came to visit for a few days which we parlayed into a weeklong stay. I have to admit she’s quite an inspiration when it comes to eating well and healthy. We shared cooking duties and one day for lunch I made a cucumber and avocado soup. This is one of my favourite summer soups. The fresh taste and smell of cucumber is dreamy and the avocados lend a creamy texture. Blended together it makes a fresh tasting and healthy lunch or appetizer. 

I am pretty sure your guests will hold their bowls up for seconds. In our case we ate it straight from the serving dish until there was nothing left.c5

2 medium onions

1 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic

pinch of ground nutmeg

3 cups chicken broth

1 cucumber

2 avocados

juice of half a lime

salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the onion and garlic. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2. Add the chicken broth and nutmeg and let cook until onions are very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. 

Rinse the cucumber well and cut in half, lengthwise. Cut the cucumber in 1″ pieces and transfer to a food processor. Slice both avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into the food processor. Add the juice of the half lime then pulse until finely chopped. 

With the processor on high speed, start adding the onion and chicken broth mixture about one cup at a time. Puree until smooth, check the thickness of the soup, and add more of the liquid if needed. Once soup is nice and smooth, pour into a sieve and press the soup through with the help of a ladle into a bowl. Chill, covered, in the fridge a couple of hours before serving. Garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche, chives and a sprinkle of good salt.c4c1c6

Grandmas’ Pickled Cucumber Salad

c1This is a simple and delicious recipe for a pickled cucumber salad. I remember sitting in my Grandmothers’ kitchen as a kid. Green and orange flowery wallpaper covering the walls and a matching round dining table set. Also green. We were about to devour her amazing meatballs, potatoes, creamy gravy and these perfectly matched pickled cucumbers.  On a shelf next to the table was a hand cranked coffee grinder. Simple design, yet its leavers, slots and drawers fascinated me. A perfect distraction and entertainment at the table until food arrived. I wonder what happened to it…

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2/3 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup water

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 pinches salt

2 pinches pepper

In a bowl add vinegar, water and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add the cucumber and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir well, then place in the fridge for 2-3 hours, stirring it once in a while. Serves 4

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