Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup
with Shrimp

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A funny thing happened to me last week. Well, it wasn’t funny at the time. More like embarrassing.

I got on the wrong train.

I’ve been living in Chicago for over a year now and every day I commute to work by train. And every day, on the way home, I take the Red Line and transfer at Belmont to the Brown Line. But on this particular day Twitter had my attention, (OMG! GU just came out with a NEW Salted Caramel flavor!) and I accidentally hopped aboard the Purple Line. Which is express. Which means no stops. To Howard. Which is, by the way, a good 30 minute ride.

Oh, I tried to get off. I’m sure it was rather comical to the people on the platform, if not the people on my car, to see the panic set in and my arm sticking out of the closed doors as the train pulled away from the stop. I was able to pull my arm back in, and no harm was caused–except the bruise to my pride.

I became panicked. I was sweating. I’m sure my heart rate was in Zone 4. What am I going to do?! This means I will be on the train a whole 60 minutes more than I need to be! And won’t be home until at least 7:30 and there were intervals to be done, dammit!

That’s when I realized… I need to chill the BLEEP out.

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I took the night off and planned my grocery list. On the theme of “chilling out” and the fact that it was a hundred zillion degrees on this most unfortunate day, I was reminded of this amazing soup. A soup that I made almost once a week the summer I found the recipe. A soup that is so fast, so delicious, and so cooling, it should be a part of everyone’s summer repitoire.

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Did you know that the interior temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the ambient air?

Seriously.

Make this soup any time you need to chill out–literally or figuratively.

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Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

Adapted from Everyday Food, July/August 2008

Serves two, entree portions

Gather:
 
For the soup:
1 large cucumber, seeds removed, peeled and cut into large dice
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into large dice
1/2 c. plain, low-fat Kefir (or yogurt)
1 jalapeño, diced
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
Juice of one lime
1 c. cold water
 
For the shrimp:
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. taco seasoning

 

Method:

Combine all soup ingredients though lime juice, in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend on high until fully incorporated. Pour the water in slowly through the pour spout/lid while the blender is running, until desired consistency is achieved. (Tip: For a thinner soup, use all the water.)

Pour the soup into a storage container and chill for an hour. If you don’t want to wait, make sure all your ingredients are super cold, including *ice* water.

While the soup is chilling, make the shrimp. Sprinkle each side of the shrimp with the taco seasoning. Add the olive oil to a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque and curled, turning once, about 2 minutes.

Pour the soup into two bowls. Top with shrimp. Garnish with cilantro.

Tip: Don’t go thinking, “I can boost the nutrient value by adding kale”. Trust me. It will give the soup a bitter after-taste. But do let me know if you try adding spinach.