Many years ago on a sweltering summer night, my mother served bowls of cold cucumber soup from vessels she had placed in the freezer earlier in the day. The velvety consistency was so refreshing; spoonfuls slipped down my throat like a sweet, cold, creamy milk shake. So satisfying was this palest of green soup that serving it has become a summer tradition. When cucumbers are in season, this recipe takes center stage whenever my husband and I entertain. Complementary accompaniments are deviled eggs, slices of summer tomatoes and cornbread. This soup must be prepared a day in advance. Did you know summer’s coolest vegetable is a fruit?
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
A few grindings of fresh black pepper
1. In a medium pot over moderate heat, melt butter and sauté onion until transparent. Whisk in flour and slowly add chicken broth. Continue whisking until mixture is well combined. Add cucumbers to broth mixture. Cover pot and bring mixture to a boil, decrease heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until cucumbers are fork-tender. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool completely.
2. In a food processor, puree the cucumber mixture until smooth. Add the yogurt, parsley, salt and pepper, and puree until velvety smooth.
3. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.