I’m just starting to appreciate cucumbers. Hated them most of my life, except in pickle form, but now I’m seeing them as a refreshing, crunchy summertime staple. I like them sliced into my water, my gin & tonic, my couscous salad and now, into a chilled soup.
I have to admit that although this recipe was good and Grant LOVED it, I still am not a chilled-soup kind of gal. Soups need to be thick and steaming and hearty for me to gulp them down. Chilled soups, on the other hand, are like tomato-based bloody marys – better for me to delicately sip in small doses.
The flavors are strong and Ina Garten’s recipe is aggressively seasoned – next time, I’ll go a little easier on the salt. But it’s probably still less salty than any soup you’ll find canned.
As a topping, I roasted some shrimp in the oven at 400 degrees, simply dressed with olive oil and salt/pepper. After 7 minutes, I took them out and sprinkled them with lemon zest and they were done. I then placed them atop each bowl of soup. Then, when I realized that was poor planning, I chopped the shrimp into big chunks and then scattered on top – much easier to eat!
Adapted from Ina Garten:
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Roasted Shrimp
- 2 (17-ounce) containers Greek yogurt (I used 21 oz total)
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (I just used 1 c. water because I didn’t have any)
- 3 farm-fresh cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped red onion
- 9 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt (gah! Use way less – start with 1 T)
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
- Roasted shrimp, for garnish – I used 3/4 lb.
- Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
- Fresh dill, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, water, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill.
As you can see, even though I used less yogurt and plain old water instead of half/half, my soup was still nice and creamy – and without the added fat! The lemon and dill really add a nice freshness, and the onion gives it a little heat.
If I were going to serve this to company, I would do it as a first course, in small glasses instead of bowls, with the shrimp, lemon and dill on top – add a little more lemon zest just for color.