One of my favorite Raleigh restaurants is Irregardless. They make the most delicious cold cucumber mango soup. What a refreshing delight on a hot summer day! Do you think chef Arthur Gordon would share?
Chef and owner Arthur Gordon was happy to share the recipe for this staple of the restaurants summer menu. It was developed by chef Ignacio Nacho Martinez, who has worked almost two years at the Raleigh institution.
The cucumber mango soup is one of several that has rotated as a weekly special this summer, including watermelon gazpacho and green goddess soups. It takes advantage of cucumbers, one of the summers abundant crops, which Cindy Schwalb, who does marketing and communications for the restaurant, explains satisfies the restaurants commitment to serving seasonal food.
Gordons restaurant is legendary. It was the citys first first non-smoking, non-red-meat restaurant. The staff encouraged diners to order dessert first. Regular customers went into withdrawal when the restaurant was destroyed by a fire in 1994 and they had to wait a year before Gordon rebuilt it. Gordon used insurance money and some of his own money to keep employees on the payroll for much of that time. His only request was that they had to do community service a good deed that earned Gordon and his staff recognition from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
At present, Gordon is developing a large produce garden in a West Raleigh neighborhood to grow food for his restaurant. Gordons project was rejected by zoning officials earlier this year, but he has said he plans to reapply for permission when the citys new development code goes into effect next month.
Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your full name and city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer, 215 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, N.C., 27601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see a printable verison of this recipe, click on the link:
PUREE mango, orange juice and 1 1/2 cucumbers in a large food processor until smooth. Reserve remaining cucumber until the end.
ADD garlic, jalapeno and lime juice to the puree. Pulse once or twice. Blend on low while slowly adding the olive oil. Pour into a container. Add diced onion, bell pepper, parsley and remaining cucumber. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill and enjoy.
Yield: 4-6 servings