July 17, 2009
Stone Cold Soup - Yummm
My enfant terrible is out of town for a few days at his grandmother's (actually he's a great kid and I miss him very much) and while he's away I'm getting extra time with my husband.
On Wednesday night G-Pup and I met for a beer at The Rex after his workday. Despite living in Toronto since 1983, it was the first time I had set foot inside the old Jazz bar. I've yet to see any performances there.
After one there, we ambled far west along Toronto's bustling Queen Street. After deciding on something casual to eat but before we actually walked all the way home, we stopped at an old diner called The Swan. The Swan is really sparsely decorated - if you could even call it decorated - but what they do have are the original diner fittings that look like they date back to the '30s.
Most of the restaurant was reserved for a private party complete with oyster shucking on ice, so G and I sat at the bar.
I wanted to tell you about the soup I had there. I've been on an avocado kick since I first went to Julie's Cuban restaurant last winter. The Swan's soup of the day was Avocado Vichyssoise. It was absolutely delicious.
It was thicky, creamy, ice cold. Besides the avocado there was a hint of cumin and a hint of coriander. I loved it.
I've been searching for a recipe and I found this one in an old New York Times article, which is in turn from the book ''Paris in a Basket: Markets -- The Food and the People'' by Nicolle Aimee Meyer and Amanda Pilar Smith (Konemann, $19.95). I haven't tried it yet, but this recipe seems like it might be closest to the one I enjoyed at The Swan.
Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
1 1/4 pounds medium boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
4 cups chilled, defatted chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnish.
1. Place potatoes in a saucepan of salted water, and cook until tender. Drain.
2. Place half the potatoes and half the avocados in a blender with 1 cup chicken stock, cumin and lemon juice. Process to smooth puree, gradually adding another cup of stock, and transfer to a bowl. Puree the remaining potatoes and avocados with the remaining stock, and combine with the first batch. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
3. Serve garnished with a few cilantro leaves or chives.
Yield: 6 servings
recipe found athttp://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/31/dining/by-the-book-outdoor-markets-inside-the-kitchen.html
soup image www. marthastewart.com
top image: www.blogto.com
2nd image: dineto/swan