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Refreshing Cold Soup

Wash your veggies

Wash everything well. You want them very clean—no dirt or grime—because this is all going in raw!

When you’re done, shake off the water and set them aside. It’s not important to completely dry them because they’re going to be blended into a liquid anyway.

Cut veggies into big chunks, optionally reserving some for garnish

Now cut your veggies into big chunks and add them to the blender jar. Make sure you get rid of any root/stem ends that are fibrous and tough. And, of course, peel your onions and garlics, if using.

In the video, I demonstrate with an English cucumber, a green bell pepper, an avocado, an onion, and a clove of garlic.

If you want, you can set aside some chunks to dice and add later as a garnish. I like having some solid pieces to chew on, otherwise it veers too close to vegetable smoothie territory. This is totally a personal preference thing—feel free to skip this step if you don’t care.

Tip: Even if you’re adding something small like garlic, I still like to divide it into pieces. This helps the blender better distribute the ingredient early on in the blending process.

Dice veggies for garnish (optional)

Finely dice the chunks of veggies you saved for garnish. Set these aside in a bowl to use later.

If you’re using fresh herbs, you can also pick off a few nice-looking leaves and set it aside. Why not make your food look extra pretty, when given the chance?

Add acid, liquid, herbs, and, optionally, bread or cream, to blender

Add a tablespoon or so of something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar, to balance out the natural sweetness of veggies.

If you’re using fresh herbs, pick the leaves off the stems. Add the leaves to the blender.

If you like your soups creamy, now’s the time to also add a half-cup of heavy whipping cream, or sour cream, or yogurt. You may not need this, though, if you’re already using an avocado—your soup will be plenty creamy!

If you have some leftover bread crusts lying around, tear them up and add them to the soup. Bread adds body and thickness to the soup, giving it a nice and smooth mouthfeel.

Finally add the liquid—broth, tomato juice, or water. You want to start off with just a cup. It won’t seem like enough, but we really just need a little at this point to get the blender going. You want to be careful not to add too much, because it’s very hard to take that back out again and you don’t want to end up with a watery soup!

Blend!

Blend those suckers! Depending on the strength of your blender, you may want to blend anywhere between 20 to 90 seconds. Just run the blender until everything is all nice and smooth, with no objectionable chunks.

Note: You can also use a stick blender, but I find countertop blenders yield a smoother result. If you have both, opt for the big blender!

Adjust flavor and consistency

Dump the nicely blended soup in a large bowl and stir it around to test for consistency. This is where you can add that extra broth, tomato juice or water to get the viscosity you like.

Also add some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Is it too bland? Add more salt. Is it not “bright” enough? Add more acid. Keep stirring and tasting until it’s just right.

Garnish and serve.

And now we have arrived at the most important part of cooking: making your food look sexy. (Just kidding not really.)

Ladle some soup into a bowl, being careful not to drip. But if you do, just wipe it up with a towel or your finger (I won’t tell anyone).

Then, if you diced veggies for garnish, sprinkle them throughout the soup.

And—this is one of the coolest tricks ever—get out your bottle of extra virgin olive oil (or some other nice oil) and drizzle it over the top of the soup. If your bottle has a large opening, hold your thumb over it like a loose stopper. And just pour while moving your hand in a circle, in one smooth motion! You’ll end up with a translucent golden line, dancing across the surface of your dish. It can take some practice to get the ideal drizzle, but the beauty of it is you never get the same line twice. And it will taste good no matter what.

And you’re done! Serve with some crusty bread, hard-boiled eggs, or just by itself for a light and tasty meal. Enjoy!

Nicely done!

You made some delicious food. Now go enjoy it!

P.S. - If you want to show off your work on the lesson gallery, send me a picture.

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