This Food and Wine cold soup is fresh, complex and the perfect answer to your, “I have too many cucumbers in my garden” dilemma. And if you don’t have too many cucumbers but just want something refreshing, creamy and tangy, then make this soup. One might think a cucumber soup might be a little banal, but this one is memorable and totally stole the show at my parents’ anniversary dinner which included grilled leg of lamb. That’s saying something.
I’ve served this soup several times, and each time I’ve chosen to display it in a martini glass with a cold shrimp slung lasciviously over the side, just begging to be dipped. I’m sorry I haven’t properly given you a close-up of the soup here. Instead, you have the up-close-and-personal view of the Mediterranean Shrimp salad which was just a melange of Trader Joe’s provisions such as their Mediterranean herb chickpea salad, herbed Feta, some fresh dill and my sauteed garlic shrimp among other things. Make a lemon vinaigrette if you decide to throw together this salad too. That’s my personal opinion.
By the way, if this soup seems a little bit long on the ingredient list and heavy on elbow grease, remember that nothing truly remarkable comes without effort. This soup is completely worth it. And during the dog days of summer it will cool you down while tantalizing your tastebuds. Win, win!
Cold Cucumber Soup
Taken from Food and Wine
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes HOWEVER chilling it for 2-3 hours before serving is ideal so plan ahead.
Makes 6 cups
2 English or Japanese Cucumbers peeled and cored (reserve 1/4 cup finely diced for serving and the rest chopped)
1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I like full fat for full flavor)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small shallot peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup loosely packed dill, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (this is really essential)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste (I find it needs about two teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of the pepper)
pepper to taste (recipe recommends white, but I prefer black pepper taste and don’t mind the black flecks)
1/2 cup finely dice onion.
Serving suggestion: Cold medium shrimp, one hung over the side of your bowl or martini glass and the rest in a bowl for guests to dip as desired.
Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender. Ninja, Bullet or Vitamix/Blendtec type blenders work extra great. Choose “chop” setting, then “puree” and then “liquify” as it gets thinner. Stir as needed. Taste and finish with more salt and or pepper. I find it needs two teaspoons of salt but it’s better to add a little at time for your personal taste preference. This soup is really much better icy cold so I recommend making it 2-3 hours ahead and refrigerating it until you are just ready to serve it. I’ve even been known to place it in the freezer for just a half hour before serving. Or put your bowls or glasses in the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Place the finely chopped cucumber that you reserved atop each bowl for a little crunch. And, if you’re like me, you’ll have some cold, plump shrimp to serve slung over the side. 🙂