As the bounty of summer is upon us and at the same time a heat wave, I decided I wanted to try some new and cool ways to enjoy some of the veg. I have a Vita-Mix so the concept of making cold soups was quite appealing. Unfortunately, sometimes I mix a few too many things in… I clean out little bits of things left in the fridge and end up with… shall we say…a pale beigy green soup…. ummmmmm…
One time I even didn’t attach the lid on and had the nice green goop all over the kitchen ceiling. When they tell you to ensure that the lid is attached properly.. THEY ARE NOT LYING.
Anyways… with the Vita-Mix, if you puree to your hearts content, the soup actually gets hot but not boiling so the enzymes are still alive ( which makes it healthy incase you were wondering). It has a 2 amp motor so it can whiz and whir like a commercial robot coupe. But back to cold soups… in order for things to be cold in the Vita-Mix, it is usually necessary to add ice cubes to the mix… or…. make the soup and put it in the fridge. So my next attempt is going to be a green gazpacho with ice cubes. You whiz it and then immediately serve it. Ideally it will taste OK as I am going to be serving it to company. I know, I am nuts.
Well on one of the cold soup websites, one of the garnishes was Polenta croutons. As Don is GF, this seemed like a great idea. The only problem being is that you have to cook them at 450 in the oven and who wants to do that in the heat? Good concept, bad timing.
So I cooked up a batch of Polenta in the rice cooker. My cooker has a porridge setting which is the ideal one for Polenta. Just don’t forget to stir at least once. If you don’t, you will have goo on the top and crust on the bottom… not palatable at all. I set a timer for 25 minutes and give a really, really good stir to get all the lumps smoothed out. When it was cooked, I mixed in a bit of cayenne, olive oil and sea salt.
Anyways, now I had Polenta and I had to find a time to heat up the oven that didn’t make the house unbearable. I laid it out on cookie sheet, shredded some hard goat cheese on it and stuck in the fridge and then proceeded to forget about it. But… that’s what worked. It got nice and coagulated and was very easy to cut into small crouton sized dice.
I put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and baked for 30 minutes, stirring them up twice. For a more crispy product, you could individually turn each crouton… I of course did not have that patience… the brown, crispy side was actually the down side.
So now bring on the green gazpacho and we shall see if it all goes together. Will keep you posted.