Friday, July 13, 2012

Cool as a Cucumber Soup

We’re having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave.
The temperature’s rising,
It isn’t surprising.
Cucumber soup can can-can.

It sure is summertime, and out here the living is anything but easy.  We do everything possible to stay cool, and that includes consuming refreshing foods and beverages.  One of our favorites is “Cool as a Cucumber Soup.”  It can be made up to two days in advance and, chilled in the refrigerator, it is available to be enjoyed at any time.

While cucumber soup is a rather ubiquitous summer dish, this version is noteworthy because of its secret ingredient—buttermilk.  The buttermilk’s tang enhances the cool notes of the cucumber and celery adds a savory layer.  Try it this weekend to wow your guests, if you are entertaining, or your spouse or significant other if you merely intend to sit in a dark room and watch The Weather Channel.

Cool as a Cucumber Soup

1 ½ lbs cucumber(s) sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery roughly chopped
1 small shallot coarsely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish

Place the cucumbers, celery, shallots, extra virgin olive oil and salt into a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain mixture through a mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing out as much liquid as possible. 

Whisk sour cream and buttermilk into the mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Serve chilled soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and garnish with chives.