Cold Avocado Soup with Chicken and Roasted Corn

This recipe just may be my “2012 Summer Recipe”; meaning it’s the best darn recipe I tried this summer!  I’ve no doubt that I will be serving this easy cold avocado soup recipe to family and friends in the years to come.  It was beautiful to present and absolutely scrumptious!

This recipe comes from Cooking Light but I have, like I do to all their recipes, tinkered with it.  A few things to note in particular: 1) the recipe called for water as the ‘broth’ but I swapped it for more flavorful chicken broth.  The only negative from the swap  is that it softened the green color a tad but the increase in the soup’s flavor was well worth it.  I also 2) used the chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, shaving a lot of time off the recipe. 3) I added another avocado because I wanted a thicker soup.

 

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Curried Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

I thought I would offer up a very ‘good-for-you’ recipe after all the indulging we’ve done the last few weeks!  But healthy doesn’t mean that it can’t taste great.  This soup is full of flavor!  And don’t let the long list of ingredients throw you off; once you are through chopping the onion, carrot and celery (and only 1/2 cup of each), the recipe comes together very quickly.

A couple of notes.  This recipe calls for red lentils.  They are smaller than the typical lentils you find in the grocery store (depends on where you shop) and cook quicker.  If you are using a different lentil you will need to adjust (lengthen) the cooking time.  A taste test will let you know when it is ready.

If you’ve never used quinoa, its a grain that is packed with protein – among the highest concentration among all grains.  Also, the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp. of a chili sauce such as sambal oelek (check your international/Asian aisle at your grocery store) but if spicy isn’t your thing, leave it out.  Or bring the amount down to 1 tsp.

Finally – left overs will most likely absorb a good amount of the liquid in the pot.  Simply add some chicken stock to the pot when you reheat if you would like it to be more brothy (personally, I like eating the leftover more as a thick ‘stew’).

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Gazpacho Soup

Diva Enertains Gazpacho

Forgive me my indulgence for this and the next two posts.  But it IS tomato season and it lasts such a sweet, short time.

This recipe for Gazpacho Soup comes from Thomas Keller of  “The French Laundry” restaurant, perhaps one of the most coveted reservations in our nation.   I’m not sure Chef Keller would appreciate the liberties I’ve taken with his recipe but we love it!  The two parts I’ve left out are: 1) Keller calls for blending all the ingredients in a blender prior to serving it which is the way it is prepared in its country of origin, Spain.  However, as you will find it on many menus in the U.S., we like ours with texture so we skip the blending. (That being said – you could do most of the prep work, chopping, in a food processor)

Diva Enertains Gazpacho Side View

2) He calls for a Balsamic reduction to “dot’ over the top of the soup.  We have done it and it is both delicious and beautiful.  But not something we want to do every time we make this recipe – it’s a lot of work and time (it requires close monitoring and a ‘diffuser’ function on your range).  I’ve included instructions for the glaze in case you would like to make it!

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Lightly Creamed Asparagus Soup Recipe

Diva Entertains Asparagus Soup

Now that asparagus is in season this is a wonderful recipe to showcase its freshness and flavor.  It also allows you to play with the amount of cream you add to the soup.  I’ve made it with the cream and without the cream and loved it both ways.  You can also cut down the amount of cream and increase the chicken stock if you would like.

Lightly Creamed Asparagus Soup

Serve 4

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 leek, sliced and rinsed (white and light green portions only)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-high heat.  Add leeks, cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic to the pan and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add asparagus and chicken stock, bring to a boil.  Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and cook 5 – 7 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender (depends how thick your asparagus stems are).  Let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Add contents of saucepan to blender, in batches, and puree until smooth.  After each portion is blended, return it to another medium sized sauce pan.
  5. Add cream and reheat soup, mixing well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve!

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