I love soup. Even on a hot day.

But you can't have hot soup on a summer's day like today. 

I've been working a lot lately, so I decided to play hooky with my Bride today. I even took off early yesterday afternoon so we could meet up at Ceia, my favorite restaurant up on the Massachusetts north shore to try out their current charcuterie menu as a kick off to a self-granted long weekend. We got a plate of beef lingua pastrami and house-cured lardo.  Anyplace that cures their own lardo gets top marks in my book. 

The Critter is off at camp, but the Boy was along for the ride. I didn't tell him that he was happily chowing down on beef tongue. I'll save that little revelation for later.  

 

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Today, I gave the pigs a bigger water trough, and spent a little time in the garden before it got too hot. They were all appreciative. The heat has been hard on my early greens and peas, but some of the warmth-loving plants are thriving. The cucumbers are in full crop at the moment - I got a new variety this year that's short and fat and super sweet.  

Transient

We ended up with a stack of cucumbers (and zucchini. But I expect that from zucchini). My Bride set them next to our new Vitamix blender (which I love) and suggested we do a gazpacho taste-test. 

Who am I to say no to that? 

She's never really cared for traditional tomato gazpacho. But the bounty of cukes we ended up with inspired her to try a few different recipes.  

We tried three different recipes - a pineapple + cucumber (Whole Foods recipe).   Cucumber & avocado (Food 52) And cucumber mint (BBC Good Food).   

 

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With nice chilled batches of soup, it was pleasant to sit out on the porch and have a taste test in the warm sunshine.  

The cucumber mint tasted too bready for me. Not a bad taste, but I wanted the mint to come through more clearly. I'd double up on the amount of mint next time (and we certainly have more than enough in our garden).  

My bride threw a slice of bourbon-pickled jalapeño into the pineapple + cucumber gazpacho, which gave it a nice heat. A little too much for the small batch we made. We could have doubled the recipe and still kept it at one slice. Still. Those jalapeños are the absolute bomb. 

My favorite was the avocado cucumber gazpacho. Which isn't a surprise. Pretty much everything we've tried from Food 52 is excellent. It was also the simplest, cleanest recipe of the three.  

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste.
  1. Peel everything. Blend with a half cup of ice water to taste & desired consistency. 

Chill. Serve. Enjoy. Get yourself another helping.