Cucumber soup is a delicious summer soup served chilled. It’s cooling, light, and quiet.
There is a simple way to make cucumber soup, here it is: whirl two peeled medium cucumbers and an 7- or 8-ounce container of plain yogurt in the blender until smooth; add salt and pepper to taste; chill until cold and garnish with chopped dill or mint.
There is only a slightly less simple way to make cucumber soup that involves the stove top but delivers a lot more flavor for just a few extra minutes of effort.
You can serve this soup by itself or just ahead of grilled salmon, scallops, or shrimp.
For the best cucumber flavor, be sure to choose firm, dark green cucumbers. Cucumbers 6 to 7 inches long are just right. Cucumbers just out of the garden are best; don’t keep cucumbers in the refrigerator for more than two days.
Yield 4-5 servings
- 2 medium or 4 small cucumbers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 shallots or green onions or 1 small red onion, minced (or 2 garlic cloves minced)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill (or you can use basil, chervil, tarragon, or mint)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup plain yogurt or heavy or sour cream (you can use low-fat yogurt)
- Cucumbers direct from the garden need not be peeled. (Store bought cucumbers sometimes are waxed and are best peeled.)
- Make a few thin slices of cucumber for garnish and set aside. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, and chop them coarsely. Lightly sprinkle the chunks with 1 teaspoon of salt. Set them in a strainer and let them drain for a few minutes while you turn to the stove.
- Place butter in a medium saucepan and turn the heat to low. When it melts, add the shallots or onion or garlic, turn the heat to medium low and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and the dill.
- Rinse the salt from the cucumbers and add them to the soup. Cook over low heat until the cucumbers are just cooked tender, about 5 minutes.
- Cool slightly then whirl in a blender or force through a food mill. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill.
- When you are ready to serve stir in the cream or yogurt and adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Serve in chilled cups with a garnish of cucumber slices and chopped dill or mint if you like.