When Life Gives you Cucumbers, Make Chilled Cucumber Soup
photo credit: thenakedbeet.com
If you are a member of a vegetable CSA, you are swimming in cucumbers right now.
I love them, myself. Until I get around to making pickles (for the first time! I know!) I have a couple of favorite easy ways to use them.
1. Greek chopped salad: chopped cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, a bit of red onion, feta, a few Greek oil-cured olives, and a few shakes of Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Greek Seasoning. Olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar to finish. Fresh oregano if I have it.
2. Cucumber-radish ribbon salad from The Intentional Minimalist
3. Chilled cucumber buttermilk soup with shrimp, adapted from The Silver Palate cookbook (see photo above)
Thanks to Corbett for mentioning this recipe to me. I just made it for the first time, and really enjoyed it.
- 2 large cucumbers (about 2 pounds worth, more or less)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar (I left this out)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound raw shrimp - medium or smaller
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 dry white vermouth (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups butter milk, chilled
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1. Peel the cucumbers and chop them coarsely. You will run them through a food processor later.
2. Toss the chopped cucumbers with the red wine vinegar,
sugar and salt, then let them sit for 30 minutes.
3. Rinse and pat dry the raw shrimp, melt the butter in a small skillet, then raise the heat, toss in the shrimp, and cook them for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink. Do not overcook. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
4. If you’re using the vermouth ( I didn’t): Add it to the skillet and boil with the remaining butter until it reduces to only a few spoonfuls. Pour this over the shrimp, then season them to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Drain the cucumbers and process them briefly in the food processor. Add the buttermilk and process until smooth. Add the dill, and process one more time, very briefly (about 1 second, according to the book).
6. Put the processed cucumber mix into a bowl, add the shrimp and the liquid they’re in, then refrigerate until cold.