Another Cold Soup

It is hot here in Houston, too, though cooler than it is in Colorado. So I decided to toss out another hot-weather dish. In this case it’s also one of the classic cold soups.

There’s a peculiarity to cucumbers in soups. See, it is one of the few veggies for which a cold soup tastes better, at least to me, than a hot soup. Something about the flavor of cucumber tastes right when cold, while when hot it’s off somehow. But let’s get to the soup.

The classic cold soup is incredibly easy. Take equal parts of cucumber (peeled, and if you wish seeded) and yogurt. Put the cucumber in the food processor or blender, run till it’s as smooth as you want, and mix in the yogurt. Then chill it for at least one and preferably four hours. That last is surprisingly important. The flavors do develop and mature if this is allowed to set.

Now, a lot of yogurts are on the thick side and your soup could come out this way as well. To thin it add a bit of liquid. Water works well. Milk or cream are worthwhile additions. In a pinch use vegetable broth. How much depends on how thin you want your soup. My personal taste is a bit thicker than a thick potato soup or new england clam chowder, but let your own taste set the standard.

The other thing a lot of yogurt soups add is a bit of spice, with dill being the classic and most frequent addition. A good (to me) runner up is mint, which enhances the feeling of chill you get from the soup. Thirdly, perhaps with the others, is salt – yes, I intentionally left salt out in the original. I’ve seen variations that make it a sort of gazpacho (add a bit of cayenne and perhaps some other veggies). I’ve seen tarragon and chives used as well. My suggestion is that you make your first version truly basic, with just the yogurt and cucumber and perhaps some water or milk to thin it to taste.

Cucumber soup is surprisingly refreshing and requires no heat, making it a great choice when it is too hot to eat, much less cook.


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