How’s it going in your kitchen these days? Lately, most of the food I’m whipping up is in someway tied to you which is making me feel extremely energized in the kitchen, so thank you for that! Whether I’m recording a few clips I can turn into a quippy 15 second video tip for reels, pausing whatever meal I’m making to jot down ideas for this newsletter, or recipe testing for a cooking class or a meal prep cookbook, I’m constantly thinking about how I can help you get comfier in your kitchen. Speaking of meal prep cookbooks, my latest one, In Harmony: Summer, came out last Friday! (See what I did there? ;))
My weekly Instagram food polls have been especially fruitful and energizing in the past couple weeks. First and foremost, they’re incredibly fun, and I love getting to chat food preferences over DM with you on a regular basis (if you’re not already, you can follow me over on Instagram for food poll fun every Wednesday). They’re also helping me learn so much about how I can aid you in building confidence while you cook and have given me some great ideas for things to try in my own kitchen. I found out that 77% of you are comfortable riffing on recipes, so I’ve started sharing more non-recipe-recipes in this newsletter. I had a bunch of Aussies share that they spread butter on their PB&Js, so I tried it and am a convert.
And last week, I found out that a whopping 65% of poll responders (and there were thousands of you) aren’t crazy about chilled soups! I was shocked. Flabbergasted, actually, because…
Chilled soup is one of my favorite summertime treats. If you’re skeptical, I want you to give my method a try.
So much so, that I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from In Harmony: Summer in an effort to convert you. Many chilled soup nay-sayers let me know that they’d never tried one before and it just sounded strange. If this is you, give this one a try and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, people who had tried a cold soup but remained unconvinced mentioned the versions they’ve tried just seemed like soups that were meant to be served hot that had just been cooled down. Yuck, I agree that sounds unpleasant! But this recipe is so clearly meant to be served cold—in fact, because it features such cooling veggies, it would be…quite strange…if you heated it up.
So here’s my plea: the next time temperatures are so unbearably hot you wouldn’t dream of turning on the oven, give this easy, heat-free dish a go—it’s absolutely bursting with summer-y flavors, is smooth, creamy, and perfectly tangy thanks to an emulsion of olive oil and vinegar, and truly it couldn’t be easier—I made it in a whopping 5 minutes yesterday. I think you’ll be convinced of the joys of a chilled soup on a very hot day. And if you’re in the minority of folks who already know and love a good chilled soup, I know this recipe will be a winner for you!
Here’s how to make my Avocado Cucumber Gazpacho:
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, and roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1 cup filtered water
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
Optional flakey sea salt and herbs for garnish
Add the avocado, cucumber, shallot, garlic, salt, vinegar, and water to a high-powered blender and blend on high until well combined.
Reduce the blender speed to very low, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a very smooth consistency is achieved.
Adjust with additional salt and vinegar to taste as necessary, blending between each adjustment, then transfer the soup to the refrigerator to chill at least 1 hour.
To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, flakey sea salt, and herbs of your choice. I enjoy this as a side dish when paired with a grilled protein (like the Peach Preserve Grilled Chicken, another yummy dish from In Harmony: Summer). But it also works as a main if you serve it with a bit of crusty bread smeared with a creamy cheese—I love a basic Boursin—when you absolutely cannot be bothered to cook
Meal Prep Storage
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-4 days. Serve chilled.
If you needed convincing, I hope I’ve done my job well because I’d hate for you to miss out on the joy that is a good ol’ gazpacho! If you do give this recipe a try, I’d love to see and/or hear about the results. The best way to let me know is by tagging me in a picture of your creation at @fresh.erica on Instagram, but I also love hearing from you via DM or an email response to this newsletter.
I think that covers it on the chilled soup front, but before I sign off, a quick reminder that Abigail and I will be meal prepping a bunch of delicious summer-y dishes in class this upcoming Sunday. You still have plenty of time to sign up and get your shopping done for the June class, but signing up for all four summer meal prep classes gets you a 30% discount! You can take a look and sign up here:
Okay, foodie friend, thanks for hanging here with me this week. As always, keep me posted about what’s going on in your kitchen: if there are any food conundrums I can help out with or you’ve had any exciting kitchen wins in the past couple weeks, let me know—I love to hear about it all. Shoot me a note here or on Instagram.
With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,