Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ina's Chilled Cucumber Soup


Memorial Day Weekend has been jam packed and it's not even halfway over. Last night we went to the wedding of two very close friends. I managed to stave off the tears at the ceremony and chupah (because with me and my current state of pregnancy- once I start going, it's hard to turn the spigot off), but the tears started coming down (without abatement) during the groom's speech. And they couldn't be stopped. There was so much laughing and crying (from laughing so hard)...it was just one of those wonderful nights and one terrific wedding.  
The bride was gorgeous, the venue was beautiful, the drinks were flowing (many Manhattans for my husband/a small glass of champagne for me), and the night was truly wonderful.   
Now between the wedding, the post-wedding brunch and a BBQ later this evening, I haven't been doing much cooking. But I do have to put something together for a Governor's Island picnic tomorrow. And I don't have a ton of time.
I decided to go with a chilled soup instead of something hot. It is, after all, over 90 degrees in NYC and that's without factoring in the humidity. So any soup that can come together sans oven is much appreciated.
This soup is so easy to make (all you need is a big bowl and a food processor) and it's big on flavor. The flavor of fresh dill, the sharp bite of red onions and the refreshing coolness of the cucumber meld together perfectly in the Greek yogurt. The fresh lemon juice (introduced just before serving) really makes the soup pop!
It's an easy solution for all your early summer picnics!  Enjoy. And have a wonderful holiday weekend... 


Chilled Cucumber Soup (Courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)
Serves 6
  • 3 (7 ounce) containers Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half (I went with between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup)
  • 2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (I will go with 1/4 cup next time)
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt (start with 3-- or even 2 1/2 and add more salt to suit you preferences* see comment below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
  • Fresh dill, for garnish
Directions
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, half-and-half, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with lemon, and fresh dill.
In the original recipe, Ina adds 3/4 cup of cooked, halved shrimp. I left it out.

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4 comments:

  1. This is different from her recipe on the Food Network website.

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    1. You are correct. That's so strange. I hadn't noticed that the book recipe and the online FN network recipe for the exact same soup are different! The recipe I posted is from her book, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor From Simple Ingredients. I made two adaptations: I left out the shrimp and I cut out 1 teaspoon of salt. I've changed the link to reflect the recipe I used. Enjoy it!! It's really tasty.

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  2. This was so delicious and just as important-- it was so easy to make. What a perfect way to start off a summer meal! Thanks for posting this, Batya.

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  3. This was delicious and easy! I found it too salty even with 3 teaspoons of salt- I can't imagine how salty Ina's recipe is! I'll definitely make this again, minus some salt.

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