The Dinner Project: Week 17

May 17, 2011

I meant to post this last week but somehow time has slipped away yet again. The girl whose Dinner Project I read last year would post her dinners from the week every single Sunday night, without fail. Ever. As it turns out, I am not one of those people. But I do have good intentions and that has to count for something.

So what I have for you this week is a photo of a llama and a recipe for a cold avocado soup that is quite simply one of the easiest, most delicious soups I’ve ever made. I wish I had a photo of the soup, its light minty green hue was so pretty, but I started eating it before I even thought of getting my camera out, so the photo of this llama will have to suffice.

This llama was part of the petting zoo for the opening day of the East Nashville Farmers Market last Wednesday. There were a million little kids running around petting the bunnies and goats but this guy wanted none of it. It just sat there with this exact look on its face and that weed hanging out of its mouth for the entire three hours. I think llamas are my second favorite animal after goats. Especially baby goats.

the greatest llama ever

Cold Avocado Soup with Chile-Lime Pepitas

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s recipe in Fine Cooking

The store we were at was out of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) so we topped it with fried chickpeas instead and it was delicious.

Preparation time: about 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes (you cook the onion, char the poblano and toast the pepitas, the rest is just blended up)

Serves: 6

1 medium poblano chile

1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings

2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 1/2 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

2 TBSP chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/8 tsp chile powder

1. On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 inch dice.

2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

3. In a blender, puree until smooth all but 1 Tbsp of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if  using), 2 Tbsp of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.

4. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.

5. Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 small bowls and garnish with the pepitas, the remaining poblano and a few pinches of chile powder. Enjoy!

The Dinner Project: Week 17

Monday, May 2 – Cold avocado soup topped with fried chickpeas (recipe above. go ahead, make it right now. you will love every bite. )

Tuesday, May 3 – Smoked brisket & BBQ sauce from Clear Creek Smokehouse (the latest delicious business from Chris who owns Alfresco Pasta)

Wednesday, May 4 – Chickpea salad with grapefruit

Thursday, May 5 – Ladies night at The Green Wagon – wine and snacks

Friday, May 6 – BBQ with our cool new neighbors! Grilled veggie fajitas, homemade mango salsa & guacamole; cucumber, peanut & coconut salad

Saturday, May 7 – Soft corn tortillas filled with garlic chipotle shrimp, sliced avocado & cilantro

Sunday, May 8 – Our first time selling pasta at the Chattanooga Farmers Market, it is quite a cool market! We had a couple tacos at Taco Mamacita before our drive back to Nashville

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