Stylish notes from The Entertaining Kitchen :: Chilled Cucumber Soup

We're starting yet another long and relentless heat wave. When the temperatures soar the last thing you want to do is to slave over a hot stove or eat a hot and heavy meal. During the hottest days I tend to keep away from using my stove, or maybe I will cook something that I can use for a few meals. I've been on a chilled soup kick lately. And wanting to venture away from the Gazpachos that I have been eating so much of lately, I thought perhaps a chilled cucumber soup might be filling yet refreshing on a hot summer night.

I searched the internet noting those recipes with ingredients that I'd want in my own version. I ended up taking what I considered to be the best of two separate recipes. All of the recipes called for yogurt, some called for light cream and some called for milk. One recipe called for buttermilk and I loved that idea. So I went with the buttermilk and the yogurt, but instead of yogurt I opted for fat free Greek yogurt. As I played around with the ingredients, tweaking the recipe here and there, I achieved the taste and the consistency that I was looking for. I created a soup that was both satisfying and refreshing. The tanginess of the yogurt and buttermilk lend themselves beautifully to the crisp and subtle flavor of the cucumber.

I hope you will like this as much as we do!

3 large cucumbers, ends cut off, skin on, cut into chunks
6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
3/4 of a large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup of buttermilk*
1 cup + 2 tbs of Greek yogurt
1/4 fresh parsley
1/4 fresh dill
2 tbs salt
Pepper to taste

You can add another cucumber or more Greek yogurt if you want something with a creamier consistency.
*If you do not have buttermilk you can very easily make your own by combining 1 cup of lowfat milk with 1 tbs of vinegar. Let sit a couple of minutes.

In a blender or large food processor* add half of the cucumber, the buttermilk and yogurt, the lemon and garlic and blend well. When a smooth consistency has been achieved, add the rest of the cucumber, the scallions, onion, parsley, dill, salt and pepper and blend well until a smooth consistency with small bits has been achieved.

*The bowl of a food processor is larger than the blender. If you make this in a blender be prepared to separate soup into batches. If you do this, do not worry about one batch having more onion or salt or any other ingredient as the ingredients will all come together when the batches are poured together.

Pour the soup into a large mixing bowl and chill for at least 2 hours so that it is well chilled.

We almost always serve bread and cheese with our chilled soups. To make your meal serve more substantial, if you feel as ought to serve a protein with it, this soup pairs nicely with chilled salmon or shrimp cocktail, even cold some grilled chicken or steak sliced paper thin on the bias.
I hope you enjoy!

Bon Appetit and Keep Cool!