Chilled Cuke Soup on a Hot Summer Day…Nice!

Summer, time of ice cream, Popsicle, tomato sandwiches, salads and cucumber soup!  Really, cucumber soup on a hot summer day is cool on your palate and fairly healthy.  It is also a perfect use for three cukes straight from your overburdened cucumber vines.  Or three cucumbers from a produce stand.  The fresh the better your soup will be.

This recipe came out of a magazine a decade plus ago, one of my sisters made it once for me and I got the recipe then and there.  I have made raw cucumber soups and they are nice but this is my favorite cucumber soup.  If you don’t like dill leave it out. I have done that; it is more delicate and you can then really taste the hint of lemon in the soup.  Once I made it with vegetable broth for a vegetarian and it was excellent that way too.  It is naturally gluten free.

Angie’s Cucumber Soup

Take 3 medium cukes, peel them, cut in half at the middle point and then in half again from the stem to end so they are like short cucumber canoes. Then scoop out most or all of the seeds.  Shred the cuke canoes into a big bowl using the biggest hole size on your shredder.  Drain in a strainer but save the juice to add to the soup along the way.

Cut up one small onion; 1/3 cup or so.

Cut up 3 scallions

Melt 2 tbsp of butter and a tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Add the onion, cook 1-2 minutes and then add the shredded cuke.  Cook 5 min, add the scallions, stir, then add chicken broth to cover; 2.5 to 3 cups.

Add ½ cup dry white wine, the reserved cuke juice and the zest of ½ a lemon (1 tsp).  Sometimes if I don’t have an open bottle of white wine I use vermouth; it works well in a pinch.

Heat until nearly boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 20-25 minutes.  Let cool at least 30 minutes.  Puree.  You can use an immersion blender, a regular blender or a food processor.  The boat motor blender (immersion) is much more fun and easier.  I like to leave a bit of it unblended so it isn’t really smooth like a true cream soup.  Add 1 cup sour cream and 1 tsp sea salt, whisk well.  I use light sour cream; Daisy is my favorite brand.   Add 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh dill.  Stir well.  Chill 4 to 6 hours.   It makes a big jar; maybe as much as two quarts of soup. It will keep in the fridge for a week so you can enjoy it for a second meal,

I often chill the bowls if it is a hot day and so cold soup goes into equally cold bowls.  You can garnish with a dill frond or not. Or a small dollop of sour cream can be pleasant.

The photo above is from our family dinner party last Saturday; the photo was taken by Beth Hinchliffe.  I made it at my sister Elaine’s request.   We had it in fancy porcelain cups on equally fancy napkins.  You can use whatever bowl you like!

Cuke soup; it’s a great starter to a meal on a hot summer evening or for a light lunch pair it with a salad or some grilled fish.  Yumm!

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