i wonder if the comments you leave for me count as social interaction. perhaps if i responded promptly, like i used to, it would. the thing is, i'm ready to move someplace secluded, deep forest, forgotten island, if it will get me some quiet. if it's not some horrible thunderstorm - seriously, did anybody sleep saturday night? - it's neighbours having parties - and when did i turn into the jerk who blows the whistle on party folk? geez, i don't even recognize myself anymore. and it's all from lack of sleep. hence the moving-away-contemplation-thingy. i'm wondering if what we do here counts for human contact. the days i'm not wandering around forgetting what i set out to do, like an old geyser, it does. i can't wait to see what you think. if you replied to my messages. while i take every comment seriously, there's a few people out there whose opinion really matters to me, people i'm not likely to ever meet, but people i've connected to, despite that. so if i take my sweet time responding to comments and emails, it's not because i don't appreciate you. it's because of my drunken-pothead-neighbouritis, okay? it's a serious condition, there's no cure, and the only way to manage it is, well, if you can't beat them...ahem.
luckily, there's this soup. if you've been trying to induce sleep, by methods unnamed, you'll be patting your own backs the next day when this just needs to be poured. you don't even need a spoon, (god knows how people put up with that racket anyway.) it's great if you can chill it overnight, but two to three hours will do. room temp will do. it's delicious, a lot more delicious than i ever imagined cooked cucumbers could be. you can even dispense with the whole mousseline affair, which is just a puree with some whipped cream folded in. if you have the time, though, it's worth it, i've been eating the leftovers on tortilla chips - it put a lot of dips to shame.
cold cucumber-avocado soup, with beet mousseline
adapted from epicurious
for the beets:
4 small to medium red beets
1 tb balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
preheat oven to 400F. wrap each beet in aluminum foil and roast about 1 hour. let cool and rub off skins. pulse in food processor or blender until very smooth, then mix in vinegar, cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. refrigerate.
for the soup:
4 seedless cucumbers, or 8 short stubby ones, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tb lemon juice
2 tb oregano, finely chopped
1 tb olive oil
2 cups stock or water
1/3 cup sour cream
pinch of white pepper
heat the oil and sweat the onion until translucent. add the oregano and the cucumbers and saute 2 minutes more. add the stock or water and bring to boil. season, then simmer 20 minutes. let cool a few minutes, then blend it up or puree it with an immersion blender. cut the avocado and remove the pit. add the flesh to the soup and douse immediately with lemon juice. blend again til smooth. mix in the sour cream, correct seasoning - salt, white pepper - and you're done.
when you're ready to serve, ladle the soup in bowls and top each serving with a dollop of beet mousseline. garnish with herbs and perhaps a few crushed pistachios. i was out, and just so you know: the original recipe which doesn't contain avocado asks for dill, not oregano, which i think would still work very well here, try it if you have it on hand.
when you mix the two the entire bowl takes on a crazy, completely crazy fuchsia shade, and you think you're still having side effects from the unnamed methods, but then you take a slurp and somehow it makes sense.