Cucumber Soup with Mint

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A while ago I was at the New York Vegetarian Festival. It takes place once a year and the objective is for branded vegetarian food items to get showcased. So you can find anything and everything related to vegetarian cooking. It was at that expo where I discovered the VITAMIX. That machine can do it all. It makes smoothies, soups, ice cream, nut butters…. you name it. I was sold.

Since then, every opportunity I get to pulverize down the proliferation from my CSA, I pull out my Vitamix and hit, pulse. One week this passed summer, I received 6 giant cucumbers. (Sorry for the late post, just found these photos in my camera) While cucumbers are a welcome respite from the hot summer months, it was just too much of a good thing. That’s when I decided to stir up this cucumber mint soup. I grow mint in my garden and use it regularly when I want to freshen up a dish and it especially pairs nicely with yogurt. What I love about this soup is its simplicity and yet its layers. The ginger and cumin seeds form the undertone in the soup, with just the right amount of bite, while the yogurt cools you down with its creamy tang. As in all soups, it’s best slurped the day after, when the flavors have had a chance to marry.

From the Silk Road, I present this chilled cucumber mint soup.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
3/4 cup scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 medium sized cucumbers
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Freshly grounded black pepper, to garnish

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the scallions and grated ginger and saute for about 5 minutes or until the scallions have turned a dark green color and wilted.
  2. In a blender, like a Vitamix, combine the cucumbers, yogurt, fresh mint and salt. Slowly stir in the scallion mixture and blend until smooth.
  3. Chill the mixture for a least 2 hours in the fridge and serve with freshly ground black pepper and a few sprigs of mint.

NYC Vegetarian Food Fest

This past weekend was the Third Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Fest held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street. Outside was the most exciting event of all, the Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck which was parked right outside of the venue and the line to their truck was nearly as long as the line to the entrance.

Hubby(the told dude with sunglasses) waiting in line to taste a delicious Seitan Burger

Luckily… and I mean real lucky, my husband and I had VIP passes to get in. I would not have had the patience to wait out in the cold to get into the then really hot vegetarian food fest.

Cinnamon Snail Menu

So here’s my take on the food trends happening… gluten free and vegan are the biggest things to hit the food world since sliced bread- that’s the good news. The sad news is that most of the gluten free products I saw at the fest were DESSERTS! So at every corner there was someone else trying to promote their GF product in the form of chocolate chip cookies…. and almost everyone had that one on the menu. Some originality please.

Looks delicious!

On the interesting front, there was a vendor there trying to promote her artisinal cheeses made from cashews. It was an interesting taste… but a little too salty to compensate for the lack of cheese. Otherwise, it would have been divine on a little cracker.

Another vendor was promoting his RAW vegan ice cream made from coconut. Coconut is in… that’s for sure. It’s actually a great product with high fiber, the only downside is if you don’t like the taste of coconut – it’s definitely pronounced. I happened to like it. I am rooting for this Raw Ice Cream because their factory is in Long Beach, NY and they got hit really hard from Hurricane Sandy.

So here are some of the pictures from todays outing. Please comment if you have questions. Would love to hear your thought on Gluten Free sugary desserts and the foods trends you notice.Also, there was a vendor selling fake crab meat… what do you think of the fake meat market for vegans?? I mean if you are vegetarian, what are your reasons for becoming vegetarian? Why would you want to eat a product that tastes like meat if you made a conscious decision not to eat meat?? I am on the fence about that one. I don’t crave meat… so don’t have the thirst for it, but I suppose if you are vegan and you do crave the taste of meat… maybe you should eat it. Just saying…. What are your thoughts about that too?

Konjac is a Japanese root vegetable used to make fake fish meats