Happy Friday everyone! I hope you're all out and about and not stuck in like I am. This mammoth of a splint is slowly sinking me into my big blue couch. The upside? I have time to do all the mindless things I'd like to do when I don't have time, like read a million blogs. The downside? I'm bored out of my mind. The worstside? I can't cook or bake!
Good thing I've established some relationships in the blog world, or else you'd be in Messie Kitchen drought.
Jason Phelps was so generous as to offer up a guest post. He is the author of Ancient Fire Wine Blog, where he writes of his homemade wines and beers, travels and experiences. Jason's posts have opened my mind to some wonderful pairings and great recipes. In this post, he writes of great summertime bites, or spoonfuls, if you will. Read on, and thank you Jason!
Twice this week I came across two cold soup recipes tuned just for summer. I am not a soup person. I have enjoyed all sorts of soups in my life, but I don’t ever crave it and don’t often think about it. Both of these recipes caught my attention though. With lots of fresh veggies around we have been working up dinner menus with medium-sized serving of proteins with lot of grilled and steamed vegetables. Needing a lot of variation to get us the whole way through summer the idea of cold soup made from vegetables warranted attention.
The first recipe I saw was for a Chilled Avocado Tarragon Bisque at the Taste With The Eyes blog. The subtle flavors of both the avocado and the tarragon were easy to imagine. Served cold I almost thought it would be a like herbed avocado milkshake!
In celebration of the Tour de France the Gastronomic Duo are preparing dishes to pair with the regions and towns of the stages routes. For stage 16 the route took the riders from Luchon to Pau. This area is crossroads of cultures and food. Spanish cuisine was selected and a wonderful Spicy Gazpacho was offered.
I made both of these soups for dinners this week.
First up was the Spicy Gazpacho.
I had to back off on the spicy for Margot’s well being, but I could see how some minced jalapeno would really pop. I also used heirloom tomatoes of all sorts of colors and my soup was more brown and yellow than red. We kept the avocado, but swapped out the crabmeat and served some hickory grilled chicken on the side.
Preparing this dish from almost entirely fresh ingredients and no cooking offers benefits of its own during the hot summer months. I am sure the variations on this dish are boundless.
The fresh garlic was pungent in this dish. The heirloom tomatoes infused some wonderful flavors into the soup. The fresh vegetables in the finished dish were crispy and fresh in the broth. The creamy texture of the avocado against the acidity of the vinegar was excellent. Margot loved it and said she could eat it all summer. The version with the crab meat was requested!
The Chilled Avocado Tarragon Bisque starts with a warm milk base in which the tarragon is steeped. I could smell tarragon in my entire kitchen as it sat and infused the milk with flavors. I didn’t change anything about this recipe and I haven’t really considered any twists, but I am sure they are there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this soup. It is very creamy and has the subtly of flavors that I had imagined. Margot didn’t find the flavors to be her style, but thought the presentation was nice. I did add freshly cracked black pepper to my soup. I like a little zip, and the earthy spice in the pepper blended with the other flavors nicely. I paired this with a 2008 Viognier from my own collection and a tarragon infused spritzer using the same wine. The flavors blended very well with fresh herbs and creamy apricot and citrus. Pretty neat.
The rest of dinner was grilled chicken, corn on the cob and steamed broccoli. Summer enjoyment for sure.