Cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce Soup

boston lettuceHere’s an almost-no-cook (actually completely no-cook if you like raw corn) soup that’s perfect for midsummer. Lettuces are abundant in gardens and in farm markets, and if you find yourself with too many heads, this soup will take two of them off your hands and out of your fridge! Fresh corn pairs perfectly with the lettuce in this mildly curried, refreshing chilled soup.

Serves: 6 to 8

  • Two medium-small heads lettuce (see note)
  • 15-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 12.3-ounce container firm silken tofu,
    or 15-ounce can cannellini (large white) beans,
    drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, to taste
  • 2 medium to large ears corn, lightly cooked or raw
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Several leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (plus extra for garnish)
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more, to taste
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste (plus extra for garnish, optional)
  • 1 to 2 cups plain rice milk, as needed for a medium-thick consistency
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Roughly chop one of the heads of (cleaned) lettuce and place in a food processor or blender. Cut the other head into short, narrow ribbons and set aside.

Add the coconut milk, tofu or beans, and curry to the food processor or blender. Process with the lettuce until completely smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving container.

Strip the corn kernels off the cobs but standing them up on the flat and and cutting with downward slices with a sharp knife. With your fingers, separate the kernels that cling together.

Add the corn kernels to the soup along with the remaining ingredients. Stir together, cover, and refrigerate for two or more hours, to allow the soup to chill thoroughly and for the flavors to blend.

Before serving, taste and see if you’d like more lime juice, more red pepper flakes, and adjust the salt and pepper. If you’d like a less dense soup, adjust the consistency with more rice mild as well.

Serve nice and cold with an added garnish of scallion and/or red pepper flakes.

Note: Use any sort of mild lettuce — romaine, bibb, Boston green leaf, etc. I especially like Romaine in this, since it adds a nice crunchy quality to the soup.

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