Killer Gaspacho

 

 

Three years ago we posted this. It’s such a summer favorite that we made it again at US Botanic Garden this week. It takes advantage of the abundance of summer produce, hits the spot on warm evenings. Summer in a bowl. This soup is at its best when all prep is done by hand, rather than processed.  Veggies can be chopped in a processor, but you have to do them in small batches to get the rights consistency and be very careful not to over-process. Demoed by Adrienne July 23 2015.

2 small or one large avocado
2# tomatoes
1 small red onion
1 peeled and seeded cucumber
½ red pepper
½ orange or yellow pepper
2 stalks celery
1½ quarts vegetable juice, chilled
¼ C red wine vinegar
½ C olive oil
1 t Tabasco
2 t Worcestershire
Juice of one lemon or lime (more to taste)
salt & pepper to taste (you don’t need much at all)

Prepare avocado by slicing in half and removing seed; dice the flesh and gently scoop it out of its shell into a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Finely dice all remaining veggies and add to bowl. Add veggie juice and seasonings. Chill and serve. Gets better as it sits in the refrigerator. Will keep up to one week.

Serves many.


Triple Squash Soup

squash

 

The back story on this post, which pulls out a recipe from the archives (Danielle demoed this at Brookside and USBG this year ago) is that Adrienne discovered a (new) squash: Butterkin. Daughter Evangeline, coming in from Boston, wanted to try a pumpkin galette as a hardy vegetarian main course for our family gathering yesterday around Danielle’s table in her Washington DC home. The recipe (stay tuned) called for pumpkins but Evangeline wanted to make it with butternut. The shape wasn’t working however, so off we went to find small pumpkins that would work better. And there, in the hard-squash bins, was a Butterkin — butterkina cross between pumpkin and butternut! So lovely to look at — the skin the nut-color of butternut, the inside flesh like a persimmon — and the perfect size.

So how do we get to the soup? Well, there was quite a bit left over after the galette was executed.  But that wasn’t all. At the farmer’s market earlier in the week, Adrienne fell under the spell of some gorgeous striped squash, which she mistook for Delicata — the vendor concurred as to its pedigree, so her mistake was not entirely without reason. After battling mightily with the squash in an unsuccessful attempt to slice it, she realized the squash was actually an acorn, albeit pale gold with lovely multi-hued stripes, not unlike the skin of Delicata. Well, the two are not interchangeable, especially in the Sweet and Sour Delicata recipe Adrienne was making for the T’G table, so the hard-shelled acorn squash ended up in the crisper, along with the leftover Butterkin. Lo, we have the ingredients for Triple Squash Soup (counting Butterkin as two squashes in one).  This soup is a nice extension of the glories of the Thursday feast, but light enough to merit space on the Friday or Saturday table — or any time during the winter, for that matter.

1 (about 3 lbs.) small pie pumpkin
1 (about 1½ – 1¾ lbs.) acorn squash
1 (about 1½ – 2 lbs.) butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ t cayenne
1 can lite coconut milk
4-6 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Roast the squash: cut each squash in half, put face down on a cookie sheet, add about 1 cup of water to the pan. Roast in 375̊ oven for 40-50 minutes, until soft. Cool, remove seeds, scrape flesh from half of each squash into a bowl and set aside. You want to yield about 2½- 3 lbs. of flesh. (This step can be done up to three days in advance)

Make the soup: heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large stock pot, sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne and apple, stir well and let cook two or three minutes. Add the squash and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, honey and continue simmering for another 30-45 minutes, until all ingredients are very soft. Puree the soup, with a hand-help machine, a blender, or pureeing in batches with a food processor. Adjust taste for salt. Garnish with paprika.  Serves 6-8.


Warm Fingerling Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

potato salad

The escarole holds up well when tossed with warm potatoes and warm dressing and its slight bitterness is pleasant when paired with robust flavors of pancetta and gouda.  You could substitute spinach for the escarole.  Smoked gouda would also make a nice change. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature. Four good-sized servings. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Demoed at Brookside March 12 and at US Botanic Garden March 13, 2014.
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