Chilled avocado & cucumber soup

Light, refreshing and creamy with cool flavors from mint and dill

You don’t normally think of soups in the summertime, especially not in Texas. However, this COLD cucumber and avocado soup hits the spot with its refreshing ingredients. It’s creamy, with a slight heat from the garlic & serrano. It gets layers of flavor from the fresh  dill and mint. Contrary to traditional hot soups, this chilled soup is absolutely delightful on a hot summer afternoon on the patio (margaritas recommended).

I was inspired to create this soup when a friend put me up to a food challenge. Her criterion was “cucumbers” and “chilled.” This was out of my comfort zone. Normally, my recipes pack heat from various spices and they normally involve a protein of some form. This was such a fun challenge, because it was so easy to make with relatively few ingredients that I would never think of combining. More than likely, most of these ingredients are already in your fridge.

Anyways, give it a shot (before the summer ends!), and let me know how it turns out 🙂

chilled-cucumber-soup

You will need:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 serrano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 english cucumber (peeled)
  • fresh mint (1 bunch)
  • fresh dill (1 bunch)
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

 

cucumber-avocado-soup

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients above in your blender.
  2. Puree to a fine, creamy texture
  3. Add salt, black pepper to taste. I topped off with some smoked paprika for a little kick 🙂

creamy-avocado-cucumber-soup

That’s it! Easy peeezzyyyy 🙂

Let me know how it turns out, would love to hear from you!

-Ankitha

 

Shrimp and Veggie Pesto Pasta

Pasta can be flavorful… and healthy
This spicy, garlic pesto shrimp pasta is packed with mouth-watering flavors. Its still creamy from the pesto yet light without all the heavy cream that is typical of pasta dishes. The charred broccoli in the dish brings a great crunch to complement the shrimp. This dish is truly the best of both worlds… flavor and health.
I used an orecchiette pasta from Italy for this dish, but feel free to incorporate your favorite type of pasta. I have tried this recipe in the past with angel hair pasta and spaghetti.

spicy garlic shrimp pesto pasta

Ingredients: 

  • Garlic (A TON, around 10 cloves)
  • Parsley (a handful)
  • Shrimp (1 lb)
  • 1/4 th cup pesto ( used this pre-made italian version which can be found here )
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • dash of dried basil
  • dash of dried oregano
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • Broccolli florets ( I used broccolli, but this would also go great with mushrooms, asparagus, or zucchini)
  • 1 lime
  • Parmesan grated (for topping)
  • Pasta ( of your choice, I used orecchiette )
Recipe:
garlic parsely pesto

  1. Grind the garlic, parsley and jalapeno into a paste
        2. Heat olive oil in low heat, and add the parsley pesto blend (from step #1) into the pan
  1. Add in the shrimp to this mix

  2. Cook on low heat for a few mins. Add the lime, salt, and black pepper at this point. You want  to heavily coat the shrimp with the black pepper.

  3. After cooking for 5-7 mins, add the broccoli florets, pesto, and all other spices. Stir in and cover for 5-10  mins.

pesto shrimp
  1. Once the flavors are cooked into the shrimp and the veggies, it will form a gravy. At this point you can add in the pasta.and stir. You can avoid overcooking the shrimp by turning off the heat before the shrimp start to form into circular rings.

  2. Top with a heaping spoonful of Parmesan, and serve! Voila!