Monday, June 21, 2010

Soup for Summer: Cucumber/Buttermilk with Potato

Happy Solstice, everyone!

I just can't get enough cucumbers - but some other people would like to do more with them than just eat them sliced with salt or hot sauce. I guess that i'm one of those people on occasion. I made butter on Friday and had buttermilk leftover to use. My M.I.L. mentioned cucumber soup the other day - i'd never heard of such a thing, other than gazpacho.  I guessed that buttermilk and cucumbers would pair nicely, and indeed they did. Here's what i came up with:
  • 1 potato with skin (may remove for lighter color and less texture), chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2+ cloves garlic, chopped (don't have to chop finely as all will be blended before serving)
  • 2 lemon cucumbers - could use any variety of cucumber. You may wish to remove seeds.
  • Buttermilk - i had about 3/4 of a pint - could use up to a pint or as little as 1 cup depending how much stock you use
  • Turkey/Chicken/Vegetable stock - about one cup. I used frozen ice cubes
  • Splash of white wine and water - only a very little wine or milk may separate.
  • Dried oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper, turmeric
  • Fresh lemon basil - one small bunch
Put potato, onion, garlic, dried herbs, stock, wine and water in a small pot and boil/simmer until potatoes are soft enough to poke the side of a fork through.
Blend cooked potato mixture, with liquid, in 2 or 3 batches in a blender - be careful not to overflow, and allow steam to escape to prevent explosion. In last batch add the chopped cucumbers and fresh basil. May sub mint for lemon basil, but i think mint is nasty. Add any more dried herbs and salt to taste.
Add buttermilk and stir all together. Place in fridge to chill. You may also serve this warm - it's good either way. And if you're feeling fancy add garnish of basil leaves, garlic chives or scallions.

Serves 4 servings of one large bowl each, 2 glutinous servings of 2 bowls each, or 8 servings as appetizers or side dishes.

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