If I were to make a list of things that I don’t mention enough on Macheesmo it might start out something like this:
1. How seriously, unbearably hot it is in DC in August. I am a cold weather person. This sweltering heat is not to my liking.
2. How much I love cucumbers.
Luckily, both of these things factored into this delicious chilled cucumber soup I made over the weekend.
This soup is really nothing fancy and while the original recipe calls for cubanelle peppers, I’m very convinced that you could use a bell pepper or a jalapeno if you wanted a bit more heat. The cubanelle is a nice pepper though if you can find it. The original recipe says they use it mainly because it starts with a “C”.
1) Peel off the cucumbers’ skin, slice them in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds, and then roughly chop into 1/2 inch sections.
2) Dice the cubanelle a bit finer just to make sure they get blended really well. You can leave the skin on for them.
3) Very roughly chopped the garlic and cashews.
4) Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend it up! This may require two batches.
5) After the soup is blended, be sure to taste for salt and pepper.
6) Stick the soup in the fridge for probably three hours (or overnight) to make sure it’s chilled really well.
7) Garnish the soup with some diced tomato, more diced cubanelle pepper, and a few drizzles of olive oil.
Adapted from Gourmet Sept. 2009.
Since there are only a few ingredients in this soup, each of them really comes through. Especially the cashews in my mind. The cucumber kind of acts as a backdrop and is always there, but the cashews give a great flavor and feel to the soup. I’m not sure that it would be anywhere near as good without them.
The vinegar gives some necessary bite also, but you could substitute white wine or maybe even balsamic if you didn’t have red wine vinegar on hand.
Prepping the Veggies
Everything is really easy to prep considering we are going to blend it all together.
For the cucumbers, peel off the skin, slice them in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds, and then roughly chop into 1/2 inch sections.
For the cubanelles, I diced them a bit finer just to make sure they get blended really well. You can leave the skin on for them. I also very roughly chopped the garlic and cashews.
Blending it up!
I had to do mine in two batches which I recommend to avoid a blender explosion. It blends up really nicely.
But Nick I don’t have a blender! Well, if you diced everything really finely, you would end up with a kind of hearty cucumber gazpacho that would still be very tasty. It’s just way more work.
You could also invest in a food mill which will give you a must heartier, more rustic final product.
After the soup is blended, be sure to taste for salt and pepper. If it isn’t salted well this soup can be a bit bland.
Cool it down
There is nothing like a lukewarm bowl of cucumber broth to really refresh the senses. (Sarcasm.) You’ll want to stick this soup in the fridge for probably three hours to make sure it’s chilled really well.
In fact, overnight would be even better.
I garnished the soup with some diced tomato, more diced cubanelle pepper, and a few drizzles of olive oil.
Betsy and I ate this two days in a row and not only was it incredibly easy to make, but it was very refreshing. After a long day in the sun it great to have a nice bowl of this to come home to.
Even if soups intimidate you, this is a great one to try out. Especially during these dog days of summer.