Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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.