Cool as a Cucumber Gazpacho – Easy No-Cook Recipe

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Cucumber Gazpacho

Cucumber Gazpacho

Copyright 2016, Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved.

Stay cool as a cucumber on warm summer days with this easy no-cook soup. Gazpacho, for those unfamiliar with the dish, is Spanish in origin and served cold. Traditionally, tomatoes are used to create the soup base, but the below recipe flips around the ingredients and uses cucumber as the soup’s base with tomatoes added as a topping.

Cucumbers Are Amazingly Healthy!

Really they are. Who would have guessed they can do so much more than de-puff your eyes after a night of too much fun.

They are made predominately of water, so they are super hydrating yet rich in fiber. They get you going in more ways than one.

Did you know they protect your brain and are great for relieving stress? Gosh, sign me up!

Dr. Mercola has published an article “9 Health Benefits of Cucumbers” Check it out and learn more about the super powers of a vegetable that seem oh so boring.

Here is the super delicious recipe:

Serves 4

Tools:
Food Processor
or Blender

Ingredients:

Tomato:
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depends on size)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or dill sliced fine
1 minced garlic clove
Salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

Cucumbers:
1 lb cucumber chopped
3/4 cup sour cream or full cream yogurt
4 large scallions chopped
2 TBS fresh lime or lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Prepare the tomatoes first so they have time to soak up the herb and garlic flavors. Add cut tomatoes, minced garlic, sliced cilantro or dill, salt and coarse ground pepper to taste, to a large bowl; toss lightly to combine and set aside.

Place 1/4 TSP salt, cucumber, scallions, 2 TBS lemon or lime juice, 3/4 cup sour cream in blender or processor; process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup chicken broth until well blended. Divide among four bowls.

Top with prepared tomato (and optional shrimp) evenly divided among bowls.

Variations:

Add 1 cup pre-cooked baby shrimp to tomato topping.

Don’t like the herbs cilantro or dill? Try basil or mint instead.

Cook’s Notes:

Taste your cucumber to make sure they are sweet and not bitter before preparing soup. While any variety of cucumber works, Lemon or English cucumber are reliably sweet.

While I have made it with yogurt a few times, using sour cream produces a far richer and satisfying meal. The organic Wallaby brand in particular is made with live cultures and full cream. No milk or additives. It is AWESOME!

For those that cannot tolerate dairy, substitute a gelatin rich chicken broth for the sour cream (you know the kind that actually sets up and shakes). This will help with thickening and provides a filling yet savory experience.

Try serving with grilled salmon.

The cucumber soup pairs so well with something grilled. Have you seen my grilled salmon recipe? This is another simple recipe, but it will still impress your friends with it’s gourmet taste and presentation. Check out the recipe here.

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Carbonnade – Beef, Bacon, Beer & Onions

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Beef Carbonnade

Beef Carbonnade

Copyright by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved.

A country Flemish woman deftly moves about her 17th century kitchen with hair tied up in a white woolen cap and blue muslin apron on. Braids of garlic, onions, and herbs are suspended from the rough hewn ceiling beams. Rays of late morning sun gently stream through a window and bounce against the white plaster walls, filling her eyes with golden reflections. Life is good this year. It is winter, but the bountiful summer harvest lines the cellar shelves with ceramic bottles of dark brown ale, sides of smoked pork, and baskets of root vegetables. She creates a stew for the mid-day meal, a recipe containing beef, bacon, onions, beer, dried herbs, and root vegetables – Beef Carbonnade. A savory aroma soon wafts throughout the house warming the heart and beckoning one to the table.

Spring is almost here, but most can’t even begin a garden of hardy greens yet. In countries still receiving snow, a Paleolithic hunter and gatherer’s food supply would be restricted to whatever wild game he could kill. Much of the ground would still be frozen, and any plant food like greens and root vegetables just wouldn’t be on the menu yet. A denizen of the 17th century would be running low on veggies and would be limited to properly stored root and tuber vegetables that mice or rats hadn’t raided. Any wild game would be stretched with pork raised and cured from the prior summer. Our early ancestors available winter food supplies gave birth to the dish also known as Carbonnade Flamande.

The gourmet name disguises the humble nature of the dish, a sweet-sour beef stew largely comprised of onions. Unlike Beef Bourguignon made with wine, it is distinguished by the rich earthy flavor of dark ale contrasted against onions and herbs. My interpretation calls for 4 different members of the allium family, each adding its own individual flavor to the mix, balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar, and LOTS of bacon. Root vegetables are typically boiled and served on the side. Continue reading

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Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Recipe – Free Recipe

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Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup

Copyright 2013 by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved

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8 servings

Right around Halloween, I stock up on small sized pumpkins and sugar pumpkins, the ones perfect for making soup and pie. I gradually bake up all of them and freeze for future use over the holidays and throughout the winter. Mashing and freezing them in 2 cup increments offers flexibility to make most pie, pudding, or soup recipes. You may use steamed or canned pumpkin, but it doesn’t have any where near the flavor of oven roasted pumpkin. Butternut squash is available all winter and a great stand in for pumpkin. Rule is for every cup pureed squash, add 1 cup broth. Continue reading

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Copyright 2015 by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved

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Asparagus is a great spring detoxifier for a number of reasons. Its sulfurous amino acids bind to toxins and transport them out of the body, and its anti-oxidant properties (glutathione) assist with liver and kidney function. Continue reading

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