Saturday, August 9, 2008

Souper Summer Recipe

Usually, I put new recipes and old ones on the recipe of the week; but I think this one is so special that I put it here to share with everybody.

It is a delicious cold soup made with seasonal--out of my garden--produce; but veggies are not prime for eating when I have a choice of so many.
I use the green beans that have escaped picking until they are larger than I would like and cucumbers that have hidden until they are giants. Of course, it can be made with more ordinary produce; but I like ways of not abandoning my organic productions.

This is a slightly drab green with the crispness of raw cucumber and a hint of heat. It also has the advantage of being gluten- and lactose-free. It can be made vegetarian by using a vegetable stock.

As all cold soups, it should be made ahead to get really chilly. Make as much as for which there are veggies. The recipe multiplies and divides easily. It keeps well for several days and freezes equally well. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

I buy canned coconut milk that I keep in the refrigerator. A can has fourteen ounces. It can be served in a pitcher if people want to add their own. Goat's milk drink can be substituted very well. I prefer to use green chili paste from Thailand; but another chili paste can be substituted. Increase the amount if you have eaters who love hot.

3 pounds of green beans--no need to tip and tail
3 pounds of Kirby cucumbers, peeled and seeded
3 cups of chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon of Thai green chili paste
1 cup coconut milk
Kosher salt to taste

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low boil. Cook for at least two hours or until limp and soft. Add more water as needed to keep the beans covered. Drian and put through the fine disc of a food mill. You will have about three cups.

Grate the raw cucumbers using the next to smallest holes of a box grater. You will have about three cups.

Dissolve the chili paste int the heated stock.

Combine these three ingredients and refrigerate. Stir in the coconut milk and refrigerate until really cold. Stir in salt to taste.

Makes about nine cups to serve six.

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