General Medical

Ro’s Recipes: Cucumber Soup—the Coolest, Most Elegant Response to Sultry Summer

It’s hot! It’s humid! “I love my kitchen but I do not want to go in there and turn on the oven.”

So—don’t!

Here’s a delicious, refreshing recipe for a chilled cumber soup. The only machine you need is your food processor, and this dish will take you less than half an hour to make.

Go!

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Lime Yogurt

cucumber soup

Cucumbers talk a good game of being the coolest, most elegant response to sultry summer—totally tennis, extreme cricket, and ladies’ luncheons—because they are mostly water. But the water carries a sublime resonance that is far from pallid. Add a few whispered ingredients from the lily family and a clutch of almonds and you have a direct line to the ancient flavor of cucumber being fluffed into an existence beyond water or salad.

Cucumbers contain no sugar or fat, so the yogurt helps out with light fat; some sweet onions and a tickle of harissa add flavor. The yogurt is drained of whey to allow for other, more flavorful, liquids to be added. The lime juice with the harissa brightens the yogurt and rids it of its sleepy emollience into something to pay attention to.

 

Yield: 2 quarts; serves six as an appetiser.
Special equipment: Food processor; tamis/drum sieve; small, fine mesh conical strainer.

Ingredients for soup:
1/2 C blanched (skinless) almonds
4 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon garlic paste
4 washed, chopped hothouse/English cucumbers
¼ C lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Ingredients for yogurt:
2 tablespoons minced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 teaspoon garlic paste
¼ C lime juice
¾ teaspoon harissa or pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 ½ C plain yogurt, drained to make ¾ C
6 cilantro sprigs

Method:

To start, drain the yogurt through a fine mesh conical strainer.

Combine almonds, shallots and garlic paste in the food processor and work until pasty. Add the cucumber, lemon juice, and seasonings, working further. Pass through a drum sieve and chill.

For the yogurt, combine the onion, garlic paste, lime juice, harissa, cilantro, and seasoning in blender and purée to a very fine purée. Add to the drained yogurt.

To serve, pour half a cup of soup into each chilled bowl. Scoop a tablespoon of yogurt onto the soup and garnish with the cilantro sprig.

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  • Toni Myers June 22, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Nothing says summer like cucumber soup and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. I eat the crusts separately, yum.
    I love this recipe and will try it when I have some. The plants are without flowers. They need July.

    Reply
  • Dr, Pat Allen June 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I love cucumber soup and this recipe sounds like a wonderful and cool variation. Ro, you write beautifully about food and life. We love when you send us a post.

    Pat Allen

    Reply