Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup
The refreshingly cool cucumber flavor in this soup is complemented by tangy yogurt, fresh cilantro, jalapeños, garlic and lemon. A sprinkling of sweet red pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil finish it off perfectly, and, because there's no cooking involved it takes just a few minutes to put together. Serve as a light first course or along with a sandwich for lunch.
- 6 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped
- 2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Place the cucumbers, jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Pour the soup into 6 serving bowls and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving, garnish each bowl with the red bell pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 6 servings
The naturally sweet flavor of English and Kirby (pickling) cucumbers make them a good choice for this soup. Also, because they have such small seeds, you don't need to be as vigilant about removing them. Use 3 to 4 English cukes or about 12 Kirbys to equal the 6 cups chopped.