Summer Soup & Salad Party
Looking for some fun ideas for a cold vegetarian soup and a variety of mostly vegetarian salads...with one outstanding seafood salad to serve for a small party of 16.
Chilled Avocado-Cucumber Soup
1 English cucumber peeled and diced. (Save a bit for a garnish, if you like)
1 avocado, diced
a bit of lemon zest and a tablespoon of juice
1 scallon chopped (or less, depending on your taste)
1 seeded jalapeno chopped
1 cup plain yogurt (recipe calls for nonfat, but I used lowfat)
1 cup cold water
salt to taste
Puree everything and chill. Garnish with cilantro.
Note that this turned out more cucumber-y and less avocado-y than I expected. You could play with the proportions.
I also have a chilled corn soup I love, but mine calls for chicken broth.
A panzanella (bread salad) with really good tomatoes would be a nice addition. This month's Bon Appetit has a recipe for a grilled zucchini and bell pepper fattoush, which is a middle eastern bread salad with feta and olives. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks great. Have fun.
How about Fresh Corn Soup?
Start with Vegetable broth. Add lots of fresh corn, salt & pepper. Puree half of the corn with the broth to gibe the broth texture.Here is the best part: serve with a dollop of Fresh salsa (maybe some tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and Mexican cheese like blanco fresca). It can be served hot, cold or any where in between!
A chilled fresh pea soup would be nice. A swirl of creme fraiche and maybe a few minced chives on top. You can use frozen baby peas and I'm sure there are a gazillion recipes on the net.
I make that almost every week but use a simple dressing of olive oil, lime juice and add in chopped cilantro. Red onion is pretty in place of the scallions. Last week I topped the salad with shredded freshly poached chicken and warmed up some corn tortillas to have along side. Simple and delicioius dinner with lots of texture and flavor. The beans i like to use are Kuner's Southwestern seasoned black beans with cumin. Drain well before mixing in.
2 large leeks
1 large onion
1 head of cauliflower
2 lbs of broccoli
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
vegi brooth or water
clean and chop the leeks (white parts only)
chop the onion
in a large soup pot saute the leeks and onions in olive oil or butter till just softer, add the garlic
add the the cleaned and chopped cauliflower and broccoli
add water or veggie stock to just cover the veggies (about 48 ozs)
bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 mins
take about 1 cup of the liquid out. Use a hand blender to blend the soup. If soup is to thick add the reserved brooth, if to thin add a boiled potato.
I like this soup chilled...a dollop of sour cream, greek yogurt, or creme fraiche would also be great.
If I can find the link, I will post it. Years ago on a food show, a male (maybe Jamie Oliver) grilled cleaned and flattened squid, cuttlefish, shrimp and octopus I think. It was all marinated with lemon juice, EVOO, and some garlic and parsely. It was done on high heat to get the char and smoky flavour. Everything was put in a bowl (calamari was sliced) and redressed with much less of the same ingredients in addition to chopped celery, red pepper julienned. I have made a variation of this several times and these types of fish taste mild and are relatively inexpensive.
When I serve it, if I have some fresh arugula, I lay it down first and it becomes a seafood type of salad. When I had a similar dish overseas they served it in a salad cup with a side of lemon and it was eaten as an appetizer. The good thing about this is that if you make it the morning or evening before the marinade flvaours it much better.