If the blistering heat of August is making it difficult to cook, try a new heat-free recipe from White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass. White House Cucumber Avocado Soup is lightening fast to make, and takes advantage of the kind of fresh vegetables that are now in season: Cucumber, avocado, mint, and lemon. (Above: Kass at work in the First Lady's Kitchen Garden)
“In August, look for corn, tomatoes, zucchini, mint, beans—all that good stuff,” Kass said in a micro-interview with Parade magazine, which just received the recipe from the White House. Kass was discussing what's best right now at Farmers Markets.
There's no stove-time involved for the soup: All you need is a blender, and voilà, soup!
White House Cucumber Avocado SoupIngredients
5 cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed
1 to 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch mint
3 Tbsp plain yogurt (optional)
1. In a blender, combine 4 roughly chopped cucumbers, the avocado, 1 to 2 lemons to taste, and salt and pepper; blend well.
2. Dice remaining cucumber and mix with chopped mint, salt, and pepper; add yogurt if desired.
3. Pour soup into small bowls or glasses and top with the cucumber-mint mixture.
Serves 4 to 6.
*See the sidebar for more White House recipes
In June of 2009, before he went to work at the White House, Kass appeared on a City of Chicago Television show, Chicago Works. Accompanied by show host Bonnie DeShong, Kass shopped at the Hyde Park Farmers Market, then made a similar soup in the kitchen of Jane Addams Hull House, where he ran a weekly soup kitchen. "Rethinking Soup" was dedicated to inspiring conversations about food policy and culture.
*Photo from Parade Magazine; Chicago Works video