Refreshing Cool as a Cucumber Soup
It is July – the hot weather and the cucumbers are, cooperatively, appearing together.
Cool as a cucumber, we say… and for good reason. Cukes have a high water content and are always cool and refreshing. For that reason, they are very popular in the hot climates of the Eastern Mediterranean – in chopped salads, sliced, and in a variety of cold soups.
Cucumber goes beautifully with yogurt, or, indeed, any other tangy cultured milk. Cucumbers marinated in sour cream make a lovely rich salad. This cucumber soup – so thin and liquid it can be easily drunk from a glass, instead of eaten with a spoon – is a classic, and couldn’t be easier.
I took a cucumber and cut it into chunks, to blend easily. Many recipes call for seeding it. I don’t bother, as long as the seeds are still soft and undeveloped – but I would if they were starting to grow bigger and a little woody. Then I simply dropped the cucumber pieces into the blender.
I had fresh dill, also. Again, dill and cucumbers are a classic combination – as is dill and yogurt. If I didn’t have dill, mint is equally traditional, though it takes the flavor in a different direction – just as refreshing! And if I didn’t have the fresh herbs, a teaspoon of dried dillweed or mint would also work – though fresh is nicer. I trimmed out the stalks, as they can become fibery and tough, and roughly chopped the dillweed. I just took part of a bunch, and did it more or less by eye – but when I measured, I had about a quarter of a cup. I put that in the blender with the cukes. Another time I might also add the greens from a scallion – but we don’t like too sharp an onion flavor. If you do like raw onion or garlic, they’re also nice additions.
Then I got the yogurt. As it happens, I had so called “European yogurt” – which in our store seems to be simply stirred yogurt… more liquid than solid. If you have a firmer yogurt, you can just stir it to liquify it enough to measure easily – and then the blender will liquify it completely. I added 2 cups of yogurt.
Then I simply turned on the blender. For the first minute or so, it looks as if nothing is happening… but then, as the cucumbers liquify, it all starts moving and blending. I did stop it after a minute or two, to scrape down the yogurt sticking to the sides, and then turned it on for another minute. And there I had it – cold cucumber soup, with dill.
I poured it into soup mugs and served it as a first course – but we actually drank it, instead of using spoons. I could easily serve it as the beverage with other food. It is light, refreshing, tangy… perfect on a humid 90 degree day!
Yields 3 cups
A light, refreshing cucumber soup - made in minutes, and perfect on a hot humid day.
10 minPrep Time
10 minTotal Time
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/4 c chopped dillweed, coarse stems removed
- 2 c yogurt
- Cut the cucumber in chunks. Seed if the seeds are mature and woody - if they're still immature and soft you may not need to.
- Place all ingredients into a blender, and liquefy. Stop the machine once or twice to stir down.