Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Put the Lime in the Coconut (really)

Another lovely Food Project CSA pickup yesterday afternoon. This week, there were bins overflowing with dark green spinach, and fragrant new cilantro in the fields, just next to the sugar snap peas that my 4 year old happily picked, tasted, and immediately rejected as being "too green." Oh, well.

This gives me the opportunity to make one of my favorite cold summer soups, based on a recipe from raw food guru Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. It does require me to stray a bit from my loyalty to locally available produce, but seeing as I'm not ever going to be willing to give up avocado or coconut, I'll live with the guilt. This is really refreshing when it's hot, and you can adjust the spice to your own taste. All of the measurements are pretty forgiving, so if there's something you don't like here, leave it out; if there's something you love, double it.

This is part of a series of wonderful blended soups and smoothies that I've discovered in the past few months in a journey through the world of raw food diets (which I've dabbled in but haven't fully embraced - more about that later). You don't have to be a raw foodist to like this recipe, though. If you really don't want to be a raw foodist, leave most of the water out of the soup, add more avocado, and serve it as a sauce over grilled flank steak.

Spicy Lime-Avocado-Coconut Soup

2-3 handfuls spinach leaves
1-2 handfuls fresh cilantro
1/2 large or 1 small avocado
3 tablespoons young coconut meat (or cream of coconut)
juice of 2 limes
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, or 1 poblano pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed (or, if you're brave, use something hotter like a Thai chile, Habanero or Scotch Bonnet)
1-3 cloves garlic
coarse salt to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a blender with about 1/2 cup water and puree until smooth, adding water as necessary to adjust the consistency.

As an added bonus, when you make the soup, you can annoy your friends and family by singing or playing Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" or, for a really special occasion, you can drag out the Muppets version.


  1. Dang, I wish I liked avocados...because this sounds delicious otherwise. Any recommendations for a substitution?

  2. Hmm. The avocado taste is really quite subtle in this - it's mostly in there to enhance the texture. You might just leave it out entirely and see how that works, or perhaps use a few tablespoons of plain yogurt or even sour cream to give it a little more body.

  3. Yum, I think I'll make this with habanero peppers - I am intrigued about this soup. My CSA box isn't ready until July 13 - I am already saving recipes that will help me use all my produce!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe - bookmarking it now! :D

  4. Made this exactly as above (with coconut cream because I couldn't find fresh coconut) and it was divine. A fabulous recipe.