There is no denying in my mind, that soup is delicious. From creamy potato leek, to homemade chicken noodle, I love everything about soup. Hot or cold, chunky or smooth, the smell and flavour never fail to satisfy my needs and taste palette. It is a versatile item as it can be an appetizer, starter, snack or main course. There are even dessert soups!
Typically people think of soup as a rich, heavy substance so whenever summertime rolls around, it usually gets removed from our menus. Thankfully, there are variations of chilled soups that can be lighter options. Take for example this chilled cucumber soup, it reminds me of spa food! One of the great aspects of this chilled soup is that it is easy to cook. With a little bit of slicing, chopping, mincing and blending, this cucumber soup takes very little time to prepare as you don’t have to patiently boil a broth. Did you know that greenhouse cucumbers are not pollinated, so they are seedless? This recipe disposes of the seeds so why not pick up this type! When picking out my cucumbers at Longos, there was an Ontario Greenhouse fact sheet where I learned that the best cucumbers typically are bright in colour, fresh in scent, and firm but not too firm! Apparently cucumbers also thrive in cool, dry places so be sure to keep them in a crisper.
While my creation was a source of calcium and vegetables, it lacked protein, fats and carbohydrates and wasn’t substantial enough to be served on it’s own. I created a balanced meal by whipping up an adaptation of Tosca Reno’s “Ladies’ Lunch Quick Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados” and toasting whole wheat tortilla with garlic butter. In all, the meal was light but kept me full throughout my post-meal swim and evening. When I was fixing these dishes, I couldn’t help but notice that Shrimp is a great source of protein, as 8-10 of those little things pack in 15g and only 65 calories! On the other hand, avocados are great sources of lutein (a carotenoid that promote eye health), insoluble and soluble fibre (slows digestion keeping you feeling fuller), monosaturated fat (blood sugar stabilizer, heart heart, can lower blood pressure), folic (important during pregnancy) and oleic acid (lowers cholesterol). The subtle hints of citrus in both recipes were also sincerely enjoyed.
Chilled Cucumber Soup
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (2 tbsp.)
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 ¾ cup 2% Greek plain yogurt
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped (4 cups)
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic, stirring constantly. Cook until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup water, reduce to medium low heat, and cook until onions are soft, about 2 minutes.
- Place chopped cucumber and sautéed onion mixture into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add in remaining ½ cup water, lemon juice, sea salt, and 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt. Process until smooth. Stir in ¼ cup parsley.
- Transfer to a container and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until cold.
- Serve, garnishing each bowl with remaining ¼ cup yogurt and ¼ cup parsley. You may wish to season with salt or pepper.
Ingredients and Directions adapted from Tosca Reno’s “Ladies’ Lunch Quick Shrimp Ceviche Stuffed Avocados”, The Eat-Clean Diet
- 2 avocados
- 1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled
- 1 red pepper, seeded, finely chopped
- ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (Or tomato, chopped)
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp. orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed (1 lime)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Remove shrimp tails and discard. Chop each shrimp piece into quarters.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pepper, salt and both juices. Add in all ingredients, except avocado.
- If making “Shrimp Avocado Salad”, peel and cut both avocados into ¼ inch cubes. Refrigerate salad for a half an hour, allowing flavours to combine. Serve with a fresh slice of lime or orange and enjoy.
- If making “Shrimp Salad stuffed Avocado”, slice avocados in half and remove peel. Scoop avocado halves out of their skins. Spoon the shrimp salad into the center of each avocado half, allowing overflow. Refrigerate for half an hour, allowing flavours to combine. Serve and enjoy!