One of my favorite summer treats is cold soup. I have recipes for fruit soup, cold potato and leek soup (vichyssoise), cucumber and lime soup, gazpacho. I love them all. And you might just see a couple more of them show up here in August, who knows.

But for today, I’m going with cucumber and avocado soup topped with a tomato garnish. It’s quick, it’s cold and it’s delicious. A refreshing treat on a hot night.

Now, about that romantic part. It’s a little tricky writing about this one for a family newspaper but the basis for these foods being considered romantic is something called the Doctrine of Resemblances. It’s the idea that the shape of a food indicates its characteristics. The concept dates back to the Renaissance in Europe and is the reason so many foods have been labeled as aphrodisiacs. If a food resembles a body part it must, according to this theory, be of benefit to that body part.

So, I’m not going to go into detail but think about the shape of a cucumber. Then think of the shape of an avocado and the fact they grow in pairs. Yeah. You got the picture. That’s why the main ingredients in this soup are considered, ah, romantic.

Moving right along–let’s get to the recipe. If you have time in the morning you can do the blending needed to make the soup and chill it while you’re at work. Or you can do it when you get home and chill it–and yourself–for an hour before serving it with a great loaf of bread and maybe a chunk of good cheese. You’ll love it.

Cucumber and Avocado Soup

2 servings

For the soup:

1/2 large English cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

1 small to medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tblsps. onion

2 tblsps. chopped fresh basil

For the garnish:

1/4 cup tomato, seeded and chopped

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

2 tblsps. plain yoghurt

a few basil leaves

1. Combine cucumber, buttermilk, onion, basil and avocado in blender or food processor.

2. Process/blend until very smooth. If too thick, add buttermilk a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is satisfactory.

3. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

4. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

5. Just before serving the soup, mix tomato and lime juice for the garnish.

6. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with tomato/lime juice mix and add a small dollop of yoghurt. Finish with a basil leaf.

7. Serve and enjoy.

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