As with the start of every September in Vermont, the warm days of summer are quickly transitioning into cool fall breezes. But before summer is completely behind us, let’s take the time to enjoy a refreshing bowl of chilled soup.
Last week I found myself with a small stockpile of the last of my garden’s cucumbers. Some were a little overripe, while others were small and not the most attractive. To say the least, they were imperfect, and that made them a poor choice for pickles.
What does one do with so many cucumbers, if not make pickles? They don’t store for long, and they don’t freeze. We don’t really cook them here either. People think having too much zucchini is a problem, but at least you have options there. Cucumbers, on the other hand, need some creativity and quickness.
Who knew that pureeing cucumbers in the food processor with yogurt and herbs leads to one fast, tasty soup? Usually, chilled soups – aside from strawberry – don’t do much for me. But I think it was the balance of mint and jalapeno that won me over with this one. That, and my favorite Greek yogurt from Green Mountain Creamery, perhaps. It adds a hefty amount of protein and makes this soup a reasonable meal, at least from a nutritional perspective. From a filling perspective, you might want to supplement with a slice of bread.
Consider the recipe below as a base. Puree it together, taste it, then take it wherever you want to go. I increased the mint, sugar, and jalapeno quite a bit but realize that’s not everyone’s taste.
When it’s to your liking, be sure to top with plenty of the simple salsa, then take your bowl and head out to bask in the last of the warm summer sun.
Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup with a Quick Salsa
- For the soup:
- 2 lbs cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
- mint leaves, about 4 sprigs worth
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup water, as needed
For the salsa:
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped
- A small bunch of parsley, chopped
- A splash of lemon or lime juice
- Combine the peeled and seeded cucumbers in a food processor with yogurt, garlic, jalapeno, mint leaves, sugar, and salt. Pulse until smooth, adding in water as or if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking with additional salt, sugar, mint, jalapeno, or garlic, as needed.
- In a small bowl, make the salsa by tossing the chopped tomato, onion, and parsley with the citrus juice—season with salt to your liking.
- Serve the cucumber soup in bowls topped with the salsa.