Cucumber Mango Soup is a summer hit

From staff reportsAugust 24, 2013 

SPECIALTY-AL-082113-JEL

Chilled cucumber mango soup from Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh.

JLEONARD@NEWSOBSERVER.COM — JULI LEONARD

  • The restaurant

    Irregardless, 901 W. Morgan St., Raleigh, 919-833-8898,

    irregardless.com

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?

Carole Morris

Raleigh

Chef and owner Arthur Gordon was happy to share the recipe for this staple of the restaurant’s 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 summer’s abundant crops, which Cindy Schwalb, who does marketing and communications for the restaurant, explains satisfies the restaurant’s commitment to serving seasonal food.

Gordon’s restaurant is legendary. It was the city’s 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. Gordon’s project was rejected by zoning officials earlier this year, but he has said he plans to reapply for permission when the city’s 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 aweigl@newsobserver.com.

To see a printable verison of this recipe, click on the link:

Chilled Cucumber Mango Soup

Chilled Cucumber Mango Soup From Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh 1 1/2 cups fresh mango, about 1 large mango 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice 2 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded (or seedless) and diced, divided 1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic 1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil 1/2 small red onion, diced 1/2 red bell pepper, de-seeded, trimmed and diced A handful of chopped fresh parsley Salt and pepper to taste

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

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