Chilled Cucumber Soup

In honor of the Winter Olympics (Wayne Gretzky waiting for those columns to rise… oh my, the nerves… he looked like someone tied his hands behind his back and dropped a snake down his pants) and in defiance of my complete disdain for all things soup, I present this cold creamy tangy triumph!

Yes, I hate soup. It has always been, as far as I’m concerned, a waste of a good mealtime. And yes, in the face of this, there’s always some die-hard broth-head who has had some kind of crazy soup in their past they swear will convert me. “Oh!” they exclaim, “you’d love a potato leak chowder with sliced almonds and an essence of baby’s breath!” No I wouldn’t.

“Oh!” they ask, “have you ever had a hearty tomato lentil soup with grated salmon tail?” No, I haven’t.

“Oh!” they implore, “you simply must try my Aunt Annie’s plomeek soup with candied celery ribs and vulcan meat.” No, I mustn’t.

Frankly, I’d rather go see that movie that came out last year about the killer orphan who was actually – spoiler alert – a grown woman with hooker dwarf syndrome. – than eat soup as a whole meal. In fact I’d rather have hooker dwarf syndrome than eat soup as a whole meal.  Maybe a little tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich when I’m sick with a cold, but THAT IS IT!

So why exactly did I decide to make chilled cucumber soup?  It isn’t really in honor of the Winter Olympics, though I’m told we are doing quite well.  And it wasn’t because I was trying to wow MG because he was at home making puppets.  And I don’t have any British people coming to visit.  I guess the only reason I decided to make it was because the picture in the Gordon Ramsay book looked sophisticated and impressive, and I was feeling some sort of inadequacy I needed to overcome, and English cucumbers are cheaper than Paxil.

Chilled Cucumber Soup from Gordon Ramsay

  • 3 English cucumbers, about 1 1/2 pounds each, straight from the refrigerator
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • handful of fresh dill weed roughly chopped, plus a few fronds for garnish
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish, or to taste
  • Peel all three cucumbers and set one aside.  Cut the remaining two lengthwise into quarters.  Slice out the seedy core from each quarter, then chop into dice. Put into a large bowl and set aside.

    Peel the remaining cucumber into long thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler.  Place the ribbons in a separate bowl and toss with a little lemon juice, olive oil, chopped dill and a bit of salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Divide your chopped cucumbers into two equal halves.  Take one half, one cup of the plain yogurt, some salt and pepper and blitz in a blender or food processor into a puree.  Press the puree through a fine sieve, pushing down hard with the back of a soup ladle.  Discard the leftover pulp.  Repeat the process with the second half of ingredients.

    Taste and adjust the seasoning of the cucumber puree.  Lemon juice, salt and pepper.  the recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of cream horseradish.  I used 1, and next time will use less because I like it less on the creamy side and more on the tangy side.  Keep puree refrigerated until ready to serve.

    When ready to serve, pour puree into chilled bowls and garnish with the tossed cucumber ribbons and dill fronds.  Goes wonderfully with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.

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