Cucumber soup with fresh herbs
This cold summer soup may be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It may also be used as a fresh and zingy sauce for meat, fish or veggies.
If you want more heat in your chilled soup, mince a green chili and sprinkle it on top just before serving, or crumble a cayenne pepper into the soup while it’s still in the blender.
1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
1 cup plain yogurt (250 g., or 2 small pots)
2 tbsp. crème fraîche or Greek yogurt
4 tbsp. chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp. wine vinegar, preferably white
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
Peel the cucumber, chop off the ends and discard. Cube the flesh. Purée in a blender. The texture will remain a bit rough. (At right, a typical French cucumber. They are much longer than American cucumbers and weigh about a pound.)
Add the yogurt and cream or Greek yogurt and blend again. You should now have a smooth mixture.
Add the herbs and blend once more until they are finely chopped.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Do not use balsamic vinegar as it will dull the fresh green color of the soup. But red wine vinegar is fine if you don’t have white wine vinegar on hand.
Transfer the soup to a recipient and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serves 2.
If you’d like to serve croutons on top of the soup, cut 2 slices of bread into cubes. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (425 F, 220 C). Place the bread cubes in a pie pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 3 minutes. Give the pan a shake and bake for 3 minutes more, or until the croutons are toasted. Be careful, because this can go very quickly and you don’t want the croutons to burn.