There’s nothing like a welcome spell of unexpected summer weather, to put every commuter you meet into a disarmingly good mood. It also completely re-balances your appetite; who would want to go home to a wintery bowl of spag bol, when suddenly other possibilities seem far more appealing?
How about a spontaneous antipasti and prosecco picnic in the park, an impromptu, après-work barbeque or an alfresco summer salad supper in the garden? With just a few simple changes to your plans and a couple of pit-stops for last-minute ingredients, you can transform your dining routine to enjoy the best of seasonal summer produce – at least while we have summer!
Case in point, try our cooling recipe for a Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup, served with Basil and Black Olive Salsa; the ideal salve for a hot summer night!
Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Basil and Black Olive Salsa
(Serves 8 )
For the soup:
2 tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado, halved, stone removed and peeled
½ a small clove of garlic
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
4 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
1 tsp nonpareille capers, drained
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
750ml chilled vegetable stock
For the Basil and Black Olive Salsa:
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 – 4 tbsp pitted black olives, finely chopped
¼ cucumber, finely diced
3 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
3 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves
1. Prepare the cucumber, avocado, parsley and basil and place into a food processor along with the garlic, avocado oil, sea salt, capers, black pepper and lemon juice.
2. Process the ingredients to a smooth puree and slowly pour in the vegetable stock and blend again till the soup is velvety and combined.
3. Transfer the soup to a large bowl, cover and chill for an hour.
4. Prepare the cucumber, olives, fresh parsley and basil leaves for the salsa. Toss the ingredients with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little lemon juice.
5. When you are ready to serve, decant the chilled soup into small cups and place a teaspoon of the salsa on the top of each serving.