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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Have a Couple Cold Ones on Me...

Sometimes, even I, Ms. Homemade-and-Farm-Direct, find myself at Trader Joe's with my kids, throwing a bunch of convenience foods into my cart. Yesterday was such a day. I blame the abscessed tooth and low-grade infection I've been dealing with for weeks that's left me super tired (sleeping as much as 11-12 hours a day when I can), with little time or energy for baking or preparing our usual snacks and fixings for on-the-go meals.

So, there we were, two hungry kids and a hungry mom, aimlessly wandering through the prepared food bonanza that is TJs. We headed for the tasting station at the back of the store; the offering of the day was a tomato and tsatsiki soup. Cool and refreshing, Annabel and I both liked it, Luc, not so much. Trader Joe's "recipe" combined one quart package of Trader Joe tomato soup with one pint of Trader Joe tsatsiki. While I could make my own tomato soup, I knew that with how I've been feeling, that wasn't going to happen soon. I also immediately recognized that after I have my tooth removed Wednesday morning, I'd be glad for nourishing, liquid sustenance, so I grapped one of the aseptic packages of tomato soup. I had my own yogurt, cucumbers, and everything else I need to make tsatsiki at home.

As I reviewed a couple tsatsiki recipes, I was reminded of another cold, yogurt-based soup that I love this time of year. Since I'm on antibiotics for this infection, I've been making sure I eat lots of yogurt, sauerkraut, and other probiotic-rich foods to keep my gut flora happy, but I'd enjoy these for their cool, refreshing flavor whether they were good for my gut bugs or not!

When I have a bit more energy, I'm making Elise's gazpacho soup on Simply Recipes, using roasted tomatoes and red peppers.

Refreshing Tomato & Tsatsiki Soup
About six one cup servings

1 quart tomato soup
1 pint yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt, pepper

Combine ingredients in a large, flat-bottom bowl or pan. Use an immerson blender to liquify cucumber.* Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 generous teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper).

*If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender or food processor to liquify the cucs, then combine with remaining ingredients.

Cucumber and Wasabi Soup (adapted from Epicurious)
Six one cup servings

3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 pint yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Use a blender or food processor to liquify cucumbers with all but the last two ingredients. Whisk cucumbers with yogurt and chives in a bowl. Can be made up to one day ahead of serving.

Visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop for more Real Food Wednesday posts!

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