Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Cool Cucumber Mint Soup

It has been so unbearably hot in New York that, upon my return from a nice weekend up on Lake Champlain in Vermont, I decided that I couldn't bear to cook any hot food.  I decided that some cool summer salads and soups were in order.  My plans for this work week include two summer soups, both of which are easy to make.  I am making gazpacho with locally grown, farmers' market tomatoes later this week, but I decided last night to make a cool cucumber soup.  And what flavor is better to complement the cool summer flavor of the cucumber than mint?  Actually, I think a cucumber-watermelon soup would be a fantastic variation as well for the summer, so I will have to try that soon.

On my way home from work, I bought four cucumbers at the Union Square Greenmarket, a great farmers' market in NYC. I decided that the soup would be a cold soup that would incorporate mint as the primary secondary flavor and would use Stonyfield Farms nonfat yogurt.

Sasha's Summer Cucumber Mint Soup (four servings)
4 large cucumbers
1 pint of Stonyfield Farms fat free plain yogurt
2/3 or a quart of lowfat buttermilk
1 cup of mint - pureed and shredded in a food processor
2 T of diced fresh dill
cumin, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste (note: this is not spicy at all - the cayenne in a small amount just helps to balance the flavors)
pomegranate seeds to serve (optional)

To prepare the soup, peel the cucumbers and halve them.  Remove the seeds and season with a bit of salt.  Allow to sit for a few minutes.  Then dice the cucumbers. Puree the cucumbers with the buttermilk and the yogurt in a blender.  You may have to do this in batches like I did if your blender can't hold it all at once.  Season with cumin, pepper and cayenne to taste.  I served with some fresh pomegranate seeds.


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