As promised, the souping ensues…
Many moons ago, when there was still a chill in the air and scarves were wrapped snuggly around necks, I stumbled upon a recipe that I thought would interest my mint-loving man. I mentioned it to him. Actual globules of drool could be heard dropping onto his iPhone. (Good call on the screen protector.) He’s been bugging me to make it ever since. However, when it’s 45 degrees outside, a cool-as-a-cucumber meal isn’t what I call comfort food.
But now it’s May. And it’s Texas. So it’s already danged hot. Oh, I know. This is nothing to where we’ll be in a couple months, but I’d say it’s certainly warm enough for a summertime treat. Tuck this recipe in the pocket of your cut-offs, and you’ll welcome the face-melting heat as an excuse to cool off with this refreshingly breezy blend of good-for-you ingredients. (Also a great excuse to hit up your local farmers market.)
To whip together this Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup, brought to you by the Martha Stewart Empire, you’ll need:
Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup
- 4 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 scallions, cut into one-inch pieces, greens and all
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
- 3/4 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A blender
Okee doke. First things first: peel, halve and seed the cucumbers. Go for the veggie peeler if you’ve got it. Otherwise, a sharp paring knife will do the job. Next, slice each cuc in half lengthwise. I’m not sure what they teach you in cooking school, but I found that a metal 1/4 teaspoon worked great to scrape the veggie of its seedy innards. A regular teaspoon would work just fine, too.
Martha’s people suggest you reserve one entire cucumber to dice small for garnishing your soup, but I found that half a cuc would have been plenty and allowed for more cuc for the actual soup. (I’ve been eating the leftover diced pieces on top of my cottage cheese with ground pepper. Yum.) However, to feed smaller portions to a crowd, Martha may be in the right (my batch made about four modest portions… think soup and salad). Whatever you decide to set aside for garnish, chop the remaining cucumber into large chunks. Combine the cuc, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and water in your blender, and puree.
Once smooth, add your scallions and mint, reserving a couple sprigs of mint for garnish. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more lemon juice if desired. Puree till blended evenly. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Pour into a mug or small bowl, garnish and enjoy your escape from the heat.
Don’t forget to share – it’s speedy preparation and pretty presentation would be perfect for a classy poolside brunch or summertime cocktail hour accompanied by fresh fruits and cheeses, Bloody Mary’s, mimosas or homemade sangria. And be sure to remind your guests how low-cal this tasty treat is!
Until next time, stay cool…