I feel like I receive an extra reward sticker every time I successfully serve my family a nutritious meal that they all enjoy. That is why I am always on a lookout for a healthy recipe that appeals to all members of my family, including a self-proclaimed vegetarian daughter who does not really like vegetables, a fast food junkie son who is yet to try fast food, and a husband who never notices what he just ate.
A few Sundays ago, after our usual morning workout, we spent most of the day hanging out by the pool. It was an unusually hot for the Bay Area day and we all came home, exhausted and dehydrated. As I flipped through the cookbooks, searching for a simple and quick dinner option, a chilled Avocado soup caught my attention. Intrigued by a wild combination of tarragon, marjoram, cucumbers and avocado, I decided to give it a try.
I must admit – this was one unforgettable bowl of soup, with an unfamiliar taste but a truly unique and complex character. A delicious mix of chunky fresh vegetables and herbs, layered over the luscious creamy base, presented a very nutritious first course.
Both my husband and I loved the texture but our kids begged to differ. Tarragon leaves, spiking out of the soup like aliens, fueled no enthusiasm in them. My daughter suggested that I run her portion through a blender and, Walla, a smooth and velvety creation was gobbled down in minutes!
I was so excited that everyone loved the soup that I could not stop talking about its incredible nutritional power. A true superhero, it helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, digest proteins and fats, eliminate toxic waste, absorb vitamins and minerals, guard against liver and pancreatic diseases, treat skin disorders and even fight fatigue. (Yes, I have been brushing up on my knowledge of fruits and vegetables!)
Within minutes of starting my shpil, I lost both of my kids to the trivia game of “Who knows the most facts about the snails” and my husband to his iPhone.
Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup yogurt (I used Fage Total 0%)
- 1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 1 large garlic clove
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 slender scallions, white parts plus a bit of the green, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram or oregano (I always prefer marjoram to oregano)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon sweetener, such as agave syrup, to taste
- Finely sliced chives and chive blossoms
- Thinly slivered radishes
- Dill, mint, and cilantro sprigs
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- Puree the buttermilk, yogurt, avocado, garlic, a quarter of the peeled cucumber and salt in a blender until smooth, then pour it into a bowl.
- Add the scallions, herbs, chile, and lime zest to the mixture.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, lime juice, and sweetener, if needed.
- Seed and finely dice the remaining cucumber and add to the soup.
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Just before serving, taste and correct the seasonings.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, then cover the surface with the chives, radishes, herb sprigs, and almonds.
It’s not an easy task finding a wine to accompany a dish of many flavors. How about a bottle of tangy Gruner Veltliner, such as Gruner Veltliner to help balance the dill and marjoram in the soup?