Soupe du Jour L'été

I think I've told you about how David fell in love with me, right?

Well, it just so happens that I invited him over for dinner and served my fabulous black bean soup and was a done deal. This is how I became known as the Soup Nazi. It's hard to believe that was 16 years ago and it will be 17 years at the end of this year. How time flies when you're having fun!

We met in the fall when I make a pot of soup seemingly every week. In the summer, though, I don't make much soup other than gazpacho and you know I can only handle about four batches before I'm done. And I'm officially done with gazpacho until next summer.

Oddly enough, I have been craving soup lately and asked David if he would be interested in a cold cucumber soup. He seemed to think it might be a good idea and I started looking for a recipe.

Lo and behold one of my fellow cowgirls, Ellise Pierce, aka Cowgirl Chef recently featured a cucumber-avocado gazpacho soup in her Wednesday column that appears in the Food section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I found the recipe in the Tennessean, which indicates to me that her column is syndicated throughout the McClatchy-owned newpapers. Go, cowgirl!

Ellise and I met via Twitter. It was the Cowgirl Granola and the Cowgirl Chef names that brought us know, us cowgirls stick together. She hails from the Fort Worth area but now lives in Paris and teaches Parisians (and anyone else who wants to learn) how to make authentic Mexican food and has a great food blog. (I have yet to make good on a promise to send her some Cowgirl Granola, but I know she understands and trusts that I will send her a care package one day very soon when she comes back to Texas for a visit. Perhaps sometime this fall, Ellise??? All good things come to those who wait...and wait!)

But I back to the soup, what I love about this recipe is that it just calls for cucumbers and avocados, really, plus a few other little things. For such a creamy soup, there's not even a drop of dairy.

The combination of cucumber and avocado is brilliant and, as with any good soup, only gets better the next day! Just throw everything in the blender and it's done. Voilà.

Buen provecho!

Cucumber-Avocado Gazpacho
The Cowgirl Gourmet ( just slightly adapted this recipe from the Cowgirl Chef's column in the July 28, 2010, edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Print recipe

This simple soup is perfect for a hot day. It takes just a few ingredients and about 10 minutes. Start with fresh-from-the-garden cukes (which I would not and did not peel) or English or regular cucumbers which I would peel because of the wax coating. I would suggest you make it a day ahead or at least in the morning to serve it at night because it gets better as it melds.

Serves 4-6, depending on the size of your bowls and appetites

4 large cucumbers (or 2 English cucumbers or 8-10 pickling cucumbers)
2 medium avocados
2 medium shallots
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Suggested garnishes:
Cilantro, chopped
A drizzle of evoo
Freshly ground black pepper
A drop or two of Tabasco (red or green)

If you are using English or regular cucumbers, peel them, but if you are using farmers market pickling cucumbers, I left the skin on as there is no waxy residue on these. Cut the ends of the cucumbers off and slice in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scrape away the center section of seeds leaving just the flesh.

Cucumber with seeds
Cucumber without seeds
Do this with all of the cucumbers, cut them in manageable chunks and drop them in the blender.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, scoop the avocado out of the shell and place in the blender as well.

Cut the ends off of the shallots and slice and peel away the outer layer. 

The shallot on the right has been peeled
Coarsely chop the shallots and toss them in the blender, too. Add the olive oil, sherry vinegar, lime juice and salt and puree until smooth.

Perfectly pureed cucumber-avocado gazpacho
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

When serving, garnish with cilantro, a drizzle of evoo, freshly ground black pepper and a drop or two of red or green Tabasco for a little kick.

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