September 29, 2021. Dear Kids– As you kids know, this is a very busy week for me, with a broken bone, dozens of hours on the road and days of physical labor and mental anguish. With all that, there couldn’t be a better recipe than this bright and refreshing Garden Blender Soup for a week like this! All you need to do is throw some vegetables and other flavors into a blender and you’re done. If that wasn’t enough, it also does double duty as a refreshing sauce that pairs well with most any summer fare.
Just to show you how busy I am, this is the end of my intro.
Diet: Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
GET YOUR STUFF OUT
- 3-4 large red tomatoes, about 5-6 cups or 2 pounds, cored and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, about a cup, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of mild onion, like vidallia or scallions
- 2 tablespoons, or to taste, vinegar of your choice and/or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons, or to taste, of your favorite hot sauce- I like Frank’s
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- more extra virgin olive oil, thinly sliced scallion greens and a bit more tomato, pepper, cucumber, diced, for a garnish
COOK AND PLAY
For a light and breezy song, that just cracks me up, play McDonald’s Girl by the Blenders while you chop up your vegetables. In case you wondering, the McDonald’s Girl is “an angel in a polyester uniform”.
1. This Couldn’t Be Easier! Put all ingredients, except for garnish in a blender, and puree until smooth. Puree in batches if you can’t fit everything into blender. Taste and adjust seasoning with vinegar/lemon, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Serve soup at room temperature or chill in refrigerator for a few hours or more if you like
2. Garnish. Portion soup into bowls, topped with diced tomato, pepper, cucumber and thinly sliced scallion greens.
Taste The Rainbow. Another nice aspect of this soup is that you can color coordinate it if you please. For yellow, use yellow tomatoes and yellow peppers in the amounts called for in the recipe; for orange, use orange tomatoes, orange peppers in the amounts called for in the recipe and 1/4 of grated orange carrots, too; for green use 1 pound of chopped tomatillos and 1 pound of peeled, seeded and chopped honeydew melon, leave the skin on the cucumber and add a handful of baby spinach and/or other fresh green flavor, like parsley or cilantro, to amp up the green if you like. You can also switch things up with other fruits, like watermelon, grapes and cantaloupe, just to name a few. Yes, all this is inspired by gazpacho, so keep this in mind as you explore the rainbow.
Special Sauce. You can make this recipe, or use any leftovers of this recipe, for a sauce. Ladle it in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate and top with whatever you think would go well with it- like any seafood, chicken, beans, tofu, roasted/grilled eggplant, etc. Depending on the topping, you may want to add a few flavors to the soup, to compliment the topping, as you’ll see below in a chilled tofu recipe, based on a Japanese appetizer called, Hiyayakko, and another for warm or chilled shrimp based on a Spanish Tapas.
Silken Tofu with Garden Blender Sauce InstaRecipe. Starter for 4-6. Stir 2-3 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce and 1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil, or to taste, into 2-3 cups of Garden Blender Soup or Sauce. Ladle sauce in serving dish and cut two ounce planks or blocks from a 14 ounce block of silken tofu. Place tofu in the middle of the sauce and top with toasted sesame seeds, cut grape tomatoes of several colors and thinly sliced scallion.
Sautéd Shrimp with Garden Blender Sauce InstaRecipe. Starter for 4-6. Stir 1 small minced clove of garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro into 2-3 cups of Garden Blender Soup or Sauce and set aside. Toss a pound of large to jumbo shrimp with a tablespoon canola oil and your favorite chili spice blend to taste (I used a few teaspoons of taco seasoning). Sauté shrimp in a medium hot pan, adding more oil if necessary, until just cooked through- a few minutes on each side. Ladle sauce into a small rimmed plate or shallow bowl and place 3-4 shrimp in the middle of the sauce. Top with thinly sliced scallion and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Sizing Up Shrimp. When buying shrimp, look for one pound bags and the “count” labeled on the bag to determine the size of the shrimp. The “count” on the package tells you the number of shrimp needed to yield a pound, so a one pound bag of 16-20 count shrimp (which are on the extra large to jumbo size), means you get 16-20 shrimp in the bag that weighs a pound.
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