Mexican Raw Stew

This was suggested by a reader, Gigi, and boy is it good! Her description is given in the comments of this post. This is the first time I liked a raw soup. Today I tried the Mexican version. Next time I'll try her Italian style. I varied it a bit from her description, so you might want to compare.

Ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes or one 16-oz can of tomatoes (from the garden if you are so fortunate)
1/2 large cucumber or 1 small
1 large celery stalk
2 medjool dates, or 3 tsp date syrup
1 head romaine lettuce (or similar amounts of spinach or kale, or mixture)
1 small leek or piece of onion (optional)
1/2-1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice from 1/4 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
red bell pepper, chopped
1 can pinto or black beans
1-2 cups frozen sweet corn
chopped celery (optional)

The base is the tomatoes, celery, cucumber and dates. Blend these in the blender, but do not use high speed. Let it stay a little chunky. Add in the greens, spices, garlic, onion, lime juice, and cilantro and blend some more, not at high power. You can pour the stew into bowls and add the chopped bell pepper, celery, beans, and corn. Or mix it all up in a big bowl. Here' s a serving with everything mixed in:

















I really liked this. One thing I'd like to do different next time is substitute a fruit for the dates. I'm thinking frozen mango (or fresh and ripe if you are so fortunate) or maybe an apple or pear? I might not use garlic if I add fruit. Also, I really like purple cabbage as we get it locally and it's downright sweet. I wonder if I could add this in. It might not have enough liquid though. The romaine is nice because it's tender and full of water. I also think I'll add some seeds. I hope to experiment a lot with this!