Hi there and happy Friday! Dude……it is H-O-T in Texas. Way too hot for soup. Unless of course, it is this lovely, cold cucumber number. Chilled cucumber soup. A light, smooth and velvety soup with a subtle flavor profile that we devour by the bowlful all summer long. I usually make a double batch because we always go back for seconds (and occasionally thirds- no judging 😉 ). It has a short ingredient list and takes maybe 40ish minutes from the first knife chop to popping this gorgeous business into the fridge. And bonus- you make it ahead for easy-peasy mealtime. Oh, and it’s good for you. Low sugar, low carb and a scant half cup of cream in the whole batch. By my count, that’s a win-win-win.
Let’s make soup. Peel, seed and chop your cucumbers. Peel the cucumber with a potato peeler, trim ends, slice in half lengthwise. Then take a spoon and scoop out the seeds. Chop!
These green goddesses are going to meet up with some onions and simmer away for a quick 20 minutes or so. Once the cucumbers are fork tender, turn off the heat. But, wait! just a hot minute to puree your soup. I have mentioned this before here, but it bears repeating. I once skipped this step….let’s just say the time I saved was nothing compared to the time I spent cleaning soup off my cabinets. Remember what you learned in elementary school science about heat expanding? That. Just let the soup hang out off the heat for maybe 10 minutes, stirring frequently to release some of the heat before pouring it in the blender. Work in batches-don’t fill the blender more than half full. Start to blend in pulse mode. Pulse it 3-4 times and then lift the lid to let some additional steam escape. Then puree each batch a full minute in the blender on high. This, along with the cream, gives the cucumber soup it’s smooth, velvety, gorgeous texture.
Once you stir in the cream and pop in the fridge, it needs to hang out there for 12-24 hours. This serves two purposes. First, it (duh) gives the soup time to get good and chilled. Second, like any soup, the flavors will develop over time. And as cucumbers have a pretty subtle flavor profile, you will notice a big difference in flavor the next day. You will taste the soup when you go to put in the fridge and think, “Oh, this is pretty good”. 24 hours later, when the soup is chilled and done it’s flavor melding magic trick in the fridge- you are going to kick yourself for not making that double batch.
Feel free to jazz it up with a variety of garnishes. Cucumbers (sliced thinly or chopped) are an obvious choice, but we also like diced red onion or bell peppers, fresh cracked pepper or chopped herbs-dill is lovely. And Alan’s favorite (not mine at all) is sliced radishes. Who knew the key to a happy marriage is garnish choices at the table? Regardless of your topping choices, I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. I won’t even hold it against you if you choose radishes. Please share with any of your peeps that are into this low carb, low sugar thing but still want food that, you know, still tastes really, REALLY good. Happy cooking!
Chilled Cucumber Soup
Light and velvety smooth- you’ll enjoy this chilled cucumber soup all summer long.
Yields: 7 cups
- 1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Medium yellow onion- chopped
- 6 Large cucumbers-peeled, trimmed, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground white pepper (can omit, but gives a nice layer of flavor)
- 3 Cups Vegetable stock
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream or half and half
- Heat oil in the bottom of a stock pot or dutch oven
- Add onions and cook until they begin to turn translucent 3-4 minutes
- Add cucumbers, salt and white pepper (if using) as cook another 3-4 minutes
- Add vegetable stock- it should barely cover the veggies- add a little more if needed
- Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes or until the cucumbers are fork tender
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently to release heat
- Working in batches, puree soup in the blender.
- Fill blender half full and pulse mixture 3-4 times and lift the lid to release steam.
- Puree on high one minute.
- Pour pureed soup into large mixing bowl
- Repeat until all soup is pureed.
- Gently stir in cream
- Chill in the fridge 12-24 hours
- Garnish with diced cucumbers, diced red onion, thinly sliced radishes, fresh cracked pepper or dill
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 35 minutes
- Total time: 45 minutes