The temperatures here in Reno, Nevada are predicted to be over 100 degrees for this next week, and the thought of a hot kitchen isn't very appealing. This delicious soup comes together in about 15 minutes - in your blender! That's right. You don't have to turn on a burner, or even use the microwave.
That's why I keep big fat, juicy cucumbers in the fridge for chilled soups that are easy on the thermostat and tummy.
Use any type of cucumber, of course, but the younger the better as they'll have fewer, smaller seeds. Kirby cucumbers are the large, long ones in the produce aisle (I don't recommend the short, fat 'Pickling' type cucumbers for this recipe). This won't be an issue in a powerful blender, but if you're using a food processor or hand-held immersion blender, then you might want to use the small, thin-skinned 'Persian' or 'Lebanese' variety. You don't even have to peel those! Fortunately, those varieties are commonly found in small bags in nearly every produce section.
One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following:
Total fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI
Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
Potassium: 13% of the RDI
Manganese: 12% of the RDI
Cucumbers are classed as both a 'fruit' (botanically speaking) and a 'vegetable' (from a strictly culinary perspective). However you want to refer to a cucumber, it's going to be juicy, a bit crunchy, refreshing, cooling and will play well with so many other fruits and vegetables. Cucumbers are about 96% water - and can help keep you hydrated on hot days. Surprisingly, cucumbers have some pretty decent anti-oxidant powers, too!
Cucumbers work very well with the following:
Celery and Celery seeds
Lemon and Lime juice
If you don't wish to use the vegan Miyoko's Cashew Cream Cheese, as I have in the recipe, then consider using a vegan yogurt instead.
Aside from a nice Y-shaped vegetable peeler, a measuring cup and some measuring spoons, all you need is a blender. I use a refurbished Vitamix blender since it makes such quick work of a soup or sauce, delivering silky smooth, creamy results.
You can, of course, use a food processor or immersion (also known as a 'stick' blender) blender. Just process it a bit longer. The soup will be a bit more 'rustic' with bits of cucumber, but the flavor will still be great.
The real 'magic' of this soup? It's so customizable to whatever you've got in the produce bin of the fridge or in your garden! Toss in a few baby spinach leaves or arugula. Grate in some zucchini. Use up that wilted stuff (Romaine lettuce leaves, anyone?) at the back of the drawer! Got a bit of Honeydew melon? Use that. Chopped celery. A bit of mango. Even some avocado of amazing richness!
Serve it up in a bowl or even some fancy-schmantzy stemware like martini glasses.
Don't forget to garnish away! A few kernels cut from fresh corn is nice. Finely minced herbs (like fresh dill or snipped chives) from the garden would add incredible aromatics. If you have edible flowers - Nasturiums, for example - those would look amazing. Put a super thin round of fresh lime or zucchini squash on the edge of the glass.
This button will take you to PayPal where you can securely pop a bit in the 'tip jar'.