Here we are mid-summer and the garden gives plenty. We have armloads of lettuces, lots of broccoli, peas & herbs, and finally green tomatoes are starting to form! If our garden cooperates this year we hope to make tomato basil jam, hot yellow tomato-pepper jam, and green tomato jam.
I am sure that anyone who gardens has experienced an over abundance of veggies that they just don’t know what to do with. We go through the broccoli and peas with no problem but we always have extra lettuce that I need to use. It seems we can only eat so many salads and I have yet to make a tasty lettuce jelly so how else to use lettuce? How about soup? Seriously. Lettuce has a high water content and therefore blends right down into a fresh tasting soup.
This is a soup that I make every summer. The exact ingredients change from year to year but the idea is to use a heap of green veggies all in one go. This green chilled soup is elegant for a dinner party and easy to modify for dietary restrictions. Healthy highlights of this raw soup are vitamins A, C, potassium, & magnesium.
Serve this soup as the first course to a summer feast or as a simple main after a cheese (& jam!) course.
As I have developed a sever sensitivity to peppers, I no longer add them to the mix. I have included green pepper in the ingredient list. Try using bell peppers, jalapenos, or any larger sweet pepper.
Green Garden Gazpacho with Coconut Milk
- 3-4c (1 head) lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 2c (1 large) cucumber, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/2c (1 med) green bell pepper
- 1-2c (1 small –med) zucchini
- 1c chives or green onions
- 1 clove garlic (or garlic scapes)
- 2-3c mixed herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, mint)
- 1T chia seed
- 14oz (1 can) Coconut milk
- 1/4c water (or chicken broth)
- 2-3Tb Soy or Braggs
- 1t fish sauce (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
- fresh corn
- olive oil – a fresh green herb oil would also be stunning
- creme fraiche (or sour cream)
Make this soup in a large blender or food processor.
Begin by cleaning the veggies. The best way to wash lettuce and greens is to fill a sink with cold water. Plunge the greens into the water and agitate. Allow the greens to rest on top of the water for a minute so that the dirt can settle to the bottom. Pick the clean greens off the water and spread on a clean towel to air dry.
Next, seed and chop the cucumber, pepper, & zucchini. Puree all of the veggies and herbs in the blender with the coconut milk, soy, fish sauce, and broth. Blend in the chia seeds. Place the blender in the fridge to chill the soup. The chia seed will begin to swell and thicken the mix.
When ready to serve, blend the mix once more. Pour the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with fresh corn, crabmeat, sour cream, & chives.