Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Dill Soup

While zucchini is the cucurbit that most often gets recognized for its bounty, the real all-star in my garden this summer is the humble cucumber. I've used them generously in sandwiches and salads, as a happy vehicle for dips, and even in beverages, but there's only so many a girl can eat before they turn from fresh and crunchy to sad and soft. I'm not growing pickling cucumbers, so the most obvious bulk preserving method is out, but fortunately there's not much that can't be turned into soup. The eight pounds of cucumbers required for this recipe might have seemed ridiculous to me at one time, but this year that wasn't even enough to temporarily exhaust my ever-renewing supply.

As you'd expect from something primarily composed of cucumbers, this is a delicate and refreshing soup, especially when generously flecked with fresh dill, also from my garden. It gets hints of sweetness and acidity from the honey and vinegar, and sparing touch of avocado makes it luxuriously creamy without adding any heaviness. Enriching with avocado instead of cream means this freezes well, so whether you need to grab quick lunches for the next few weeks or want to taste summer once the snow begins to fly, this soup has you covered.

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Dill Soup
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 6 servings

11 large cucumbers (about 8 pounds), divided $
1/4 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Dill sprigs (optional)
Hot sauce, such as Tapatio or Sriracha (optional)

1. Cut 5 cucumbers into 3-inch chunks. Place half of cucumber chunks and 2 tablespoons honey in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Pour pureed cucumber mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Repeat procedure with the remaining chunks. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

2. Peel, seed (optional), and thinly slice remaining 6 cucumbers; place slices in a bowl. Add vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons honey; toss well to coat. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

3. Working with pureed cucumber mixture in sieve, press mixture lightly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze out juice; discard solids.

4. Place half of marinated cucumber slices, avocado, and 1 3/4 cups cucumber juice in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Pour cucumber mixture into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining cucumber slices and 1 3/4 cups cucumber juice; reserve any remaining juice for another use. Stir in chopped dill, salt, and pepper, seasoning to taste. Divide soup between 6 bowls and garnish with dill sprigs and hot sauce, if desired

No comments:

Post a Comment