Monday, May 17, 2010

Raw Vegan Monday: Avocado Cucumber Soup

This is week number two in my four week series of Raw Vegan Mondays. I did a lot of reading this past week about this diet, and I must say that I am even more fascinated than before. I really think if you are studious, it is possible to have a well balanced and healthy diet while following strict parameters. I found myself "dissecting" my current eating habits and including much more fruit and veg in my every day cookery (or lack thereof), and remembered how nice it is not to worry about cooking meat. (Though I should mention that we did have some steak in there one day: but not only did one T-Bone provide one nice meal, one whole leftover chop went into a huge pot of veg-heavy soup so we have meals into the future.)

There seem to be many different vegan mindsets. Some include dehydration and some do not, some include "faux meat" substitutes and some do not. If I would adopt this diet for good, I'd probably opt for the Non-Faux meats version, since while I'm sure some of it is just perfectly fine, it really doesn't appeal to me. It seems that the whole point of Raw Vegan food is it's unadulterated preparation and pure whole food flavor, and an added bonus for me is the ease in which it is prepared. The food is made, the food is eaten. That's it. Most recipes are written for the eater right now, so prep time is minimal and fast and there are none of those pesky leftovers to worry about.

I'm looking forward to some more good experimentation, since it is easier to focus on food flavor when you have a set list of rules to adhere to. Each specific flavor has no chance of getting lost in a simple preparation, and that is why most practicing Raw Vegans will insist upon seasonal and organic produce, and why I did for this Avocado Cucumber Soup. (Well, most of my seasonal produce did come from abroad... no avocado and citrus trees here in the Great Midwest!) The flavors were so bright and pronounced, and I truthfully did not miss any cooked component - save perhaps a nice slice of crusty bread alongside... I also think it is key to taste as you go. You can add or subtract to your liking.

Avocado Cucumber Soup
(adapted from Gone Raw submission by Blissful Mother)

Makes one large serving or two smaller (easily doubled):
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 c. water
  • handful of cilantro, most of the stems cut off
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • splash of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • aleppo pepper for garnish
  • cherry tomatoes for garnish
In a food pro, combine avocado, cucumber and pumpkin seeds and process until somewhat smooth. Scrape down sides. With motor running, add juices. Add spices and salt and pepper to taste, and pulse/process to combine. You may wish to add more spice or salt or pepper, but if you like it how it is, add the cilantro and process until smooth - adding water if desired to reach the soup consistency that best appeals to you. Lastly, add the sesame oil and pulse to combine.

Pour into a bowl, and garnish with cracked black pepper, aleppo pepper and cherry tomatoes.

Had I a nice fresh ear of sweet corn, it too would have been added raw, but May is not the time for corn in Wisconsin... I also nearly added a canned chipotle pepper, but stopped when I realized that it probably would not have been raw, since it was heat processed. If you are looking for a tasty, non-raw, variation, you could certainly add it, I'm going to next time.

I was surprised at the rich and full flavor of this soup, and indeed, it does seem decadent to eat a whole avocado in one sitting. I am continuing to learn and grow more excited about vegan cookery in general. While it is not raw, I'm going to borrow a food dehydrator from my Mom at the end of the month and experiment with sprouted grain breads. Another small smiley box from Amazon will be on my doorstep any day with this book that I am eagerly anticipating. Maybe I'll see if I can't knock back some of that gluten obsession for awhile - not that I will forget about my new Lahey Project tab. Meanwhile, I have another Raw Vegan Monday to challenge myself to and more websites to discover. Ahhh, the life of a Food Blogger!


  1. I do think that one of the advantages of eating raw (and vegetarian or vegan, for that matter) is that it allows you to develop an appreciation for the true flavors of the foods you're eating. It's why I love mixing in a few raw/vegan dishes into our diet here and there -- it truly adds to the diversity of our diet!

    I've eaten avocado soup (can't remember if it was completely raw or not), and I recall that it was completely decadent -- smooth and creamy and Very Very fresh. I'll bet yours was delicious with the cucumber & citrus playing along with the velvety avocado!

  2. I love avocado, and looking over the ingredients I can tell this would be super tasty! It doesn't sound like a raw substitute for something else, just like a recipe that doesn't need cooking, which is so much more appealing. I'm definitely with you on the non faux side of the fence!

  3. I'm vegetarian, but I am sure I could never be vegan or go on a raw diet. I just love baked goods (with butter and eggs) and cheese too much. But this soup looks really delicious, and with the avocado and pumpkin seeds, I'm sure it is very hearty too.

  4. Wow, I hoping to go completely raw food by my 30th birthday. Thanks for the soup.

  5. Loved this soup! I have never looked for vegan recipe. Great flavors and enjoyed browsing. Thanks!!


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