Monday, July 13, 2009

Chilled Cucumber-Dill Soup

I have never, ever been a fan of cold soups. Truly. I've tried a few soups before and they've been fine, but it's not something I crave. In fact, it's something that generally gives me the willies. I choke down a few sips at parties because friends are smiling expectantly at me, and it's too hard to explain my disgust. These are all ingredients I love, just blended into soup. I can't explain my nose-wrinkling disdain.

However, stuck at the market on Monday awaiting my ride, I passed a cucumber-dill soup in the ready-made aisle. I picked it up, smelled it, and thought it sounded good. Yes, I was starving. It was 8:30 p.m. and still no dinner in sight. I picked up a box of caramels to stave off the pangs. (Incidentally, these Das Caramelini Candied Ginger and Pistachio Fleur de Sel Caramels are delicious!)

The next night, come dinnertime, I was still thinking about that blasted soup! So I made it. While I do not take back my harsh words about cold soups in general, this one is okay. Decent, even. To my complete surprise, George really liked it. And since it was 90ยบ outside, it really was the perfect dinner, alongside a beautiful salad and fresh bread.

Chilled Cucumber-Dill Soup
Makes about 4 cups

2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks with the big seeds cut out
1 medium zucchini (if you like, it's mild-flavored and just adds volume)
1 small spring onion with 1" of greens
1 T fresh dill + more for garnish
2 T fresh chives (a mix of regular and garlic chives is nice too)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar, something really mild)
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
water, for texture

Use the blender to whir everything together down to the EVOO. It should be a lovely celery green color. Puree until it's super smooth, then add in the sour cream and blend again. Season to taste. I like a good bit of salt in this, as I always have with cucumbers. Refrigerate in the blender for an hour or so, just to get it really cold. Before serving, taste again and adjust seasoning. Then blend a final time, adding water if necessary to get the consistency as you like it.

Note: Keep in mind, if you're making this, that all of my ingredients were super fresh — as in JUST picked. I don't recommend making any kind of cold soup like this with worn-out ingredients. That wilted bunch of herbs won't brighten the flavors any, and good luck with a limp cucumber. Just my opinion.

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