The WILDCARD: a recipe chosen each month by my husband, Matt.
I can’t tell you how much this concept excites me! I love trying new recipes, and can spend hours pouring over hundreds of recipes in delicious looking cookbooks, but, without realising, I probably do end up choosing the recipes that are similar to something I’ve made before, or that are just a little bit ‘safe’. By asking Matt to choose a recipe, I can be guaranteed to make something completely out of my comfort zone, and get to try something totally new.
When I first asked him to get involved, the git started looking intentionally for recipes that he knew I would hate. That’s true love, right there. But when he disappointingly discovered that Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons didn’t have ANY recipes containing my loathed mushrooms or tuna, he settled on Chilled Coriander & Avocado Soup as this month’s WILDCARD.
I like both coriander, and avocado, but a chilled soup is still pretty out-there for me. I’ve never even tried gazpachio. I like soup to be piping hot and served with a mountain of buttered, crusty bread.
The ingredients were all ones that I liked: the afore mentioned coriander and avocado, and also mint, lime, tomato and cumin.
At first I thought it looked like something I would have made, as a child, in the garden: pond soup perhaps? Mud pie? Either way, a little unappetising. Looked bad, smelt great!
I did wonder whether my chicken stock was the wrong sort. I know you can have stock made from ‘raw’ chicken bones and pieces, or from the leftover carcass of a roast chicken for a ‘cooked chicken’ stock. I’ll be honest, there was no homemade stock involved here. Mine came courtesy of Tesco in the form of a finest* Chicken Stock pouch from the grocery aisle. It was a bit brown.
Once the stock had been simmered with the vegetables, herbs and spices, the avocado, tomato and coriander leaves were added. My stick blender then whizzed it up into a smooth, pale green soup, flecked with dark green herbs. Finally, stirred with lime juice and Greek yogurt, it was put in the fridge to cool. I had a cheeky taste, it was good. MUCH better than I had expected. It was smooth and creamy because of the avocado, and the lime juice brought all of the other flavours and spices to life.
So here is where there would usually be a photo of the finished product. There isn’t one, for the simple reason that rather than leaving the soup in the fridge for just an hour as the recipe suggested, I left it overnight. It turned brown. An unappealing brown/beige sludge flecked with green. Not exactly photo worthy. Pretty much a disaster.
It still tasted ok, but it was cold! Hard as I tried, I couldn’t get my head around the idea of cold soup. A little thicker and it would have made a great dip, but soup? No. Maybe on a sweltering hot day, it might be just the ticket as a refreshing midday meal, but on a cold, rainy April day, not so much.
It was something I would never normally have tried, and unfortunately on this occasion I wasn’t keen. On to next month!
This month I have been running a competition over on twitter for a chance for someone to win a copy of Diana Henry’s Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons. There have been many, many entries, and the winner be will chosen by random by the end of today, and notified via twitter.