Lies! Filthy lies!
We were totally amuse[d].
And by amuse[d], of course, I mean that on Christmas Day my family started off our celebrations with a delicious, creamy, summery, and almost-vegan amuse bouche.
The day didn’t start with an amuse bouche. That would be ridiculous. Who wants to eat a coconut, avocado, and cucumber soup as soon as they’ve woken up? Even if such soup is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. (Yes, that’s right, Northern Hemisphere readers. Down here in Australia, we get sunburnt on Christmas.)
The day really started like this: at my parents’ place, my brother, mum, and dad arose and had croissants with coffee. Meanwhile, across town, I slept. Then, like a crazy person, my brother went for a run while my mother probably did yoga. Still, I slept. Then I rolled out of bed, topped my porridge with Nutella and peanut butter chips, ate it, and drove to my parents’ house.
For the first time in 23 years, all four (five, including the dog) members of my family were cooking in the kitchen at once. Dad was collecting crab meat for the amuse bouche, Mum was working on a salad, I was getting started on the stuffing, and my brother was making a scarily potent egg nog, the drinking of which was like getting roofied.
*insert inappropriate joke about football players here*
After the requisite showering and putting on of my New Dress From Florence Which I Was Rather Excited About Wearing, my grandparents and great aunt arrived. Greetings and hugs were had, antipasti were consumed, and then we were amuse[d].
This Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Chilli Crab is a subtle yet zingy, creamy yet cooling, coconutty yet spicy cold soup which, without the crab garnish, would be vegan. I’ve been considering vegan alternatives for the garnish, and at the moment I’m thinking some chilli-roasted pepitas and a sprinkling of fresh coriander would do nicely.
But do you know what does even more nicely than almost-vegan amuse bouches? Opening Christmas stockings.
My mum is the stocking-stuffing master, and I’ve long thought that exploring my stocking is one of my favourite parts of Christmas day.
Particularly because, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, my brother and I don’t get stockings.
We get pillowcases.
Yes, I’m wearing a necklace made of Christmas lights. It was a festive gift from my great aunt, and it enabled me to spend the entire day flashing everyone. *giggle*
Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup Shots with Spicy Crab
From Delicious magazine. Original recipe said this would make 8 shots, but we got far more than that out of it. Unless, of course, by “shots” they meant “mugs”, but I would assume Delicious has better proof-readers than that. Where was I?
- 1 telegraph cucumber, peeled and deseeded, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, flesh roughly chopped
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 3 tb (60ml) lime juice
- 3 tb chopped coriander leaves
- 1 cup (250ml) coconut cream
- 1 tb canola oil
- 2 tsp sambal oelek
- 1 cup fresh crabmeat (we bought a small crab, and got nowhere near 1 cup of meat out of it. However, we had more than enough crab for 8 shots. I’m becoming more and more convinced that Delicious was making shots for giants who live up beanstalks.)
1. Place cucumber, avocado, spring onion, 2 tb lime juice and 2 tb coriander in a blender with 1 cup (250ml) iced water. Season, then blend until smooth.
2. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the coconut cream and adjust seasoning to taste. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Combine the oil, sambal oelek, crab and remaining 1 tb lime juice in a bowl. Finely chop the remaining 1 tb coriander leaves and add the crab mixture (the more astute of you might notice that we forgot the coriander part of the crab garnish. Shh, don’t tell the giants or they’ll eat our babies). Season well with salt, then stir to combine.
4. Serve the soup in small cups or shot glasses, topped with a spoonful of spicy crab. Then either open your Christmas stockings, or move directly onto the presents under the tree. Good times, good times.