Monday, July 21, 2008

Cool as A Cucumber

It started when our dear friend/neighbor D suffered a strange and painful injury. A soccer ball to the neck that made it feel like his Adam’s apple had come detached and was floating around in his throat- yowch. My typical response to anyone being extra sad, pained, heartbroken or particularly happy is to cook. It’s what my mom always did and I’ve continued both because it does make people feel better and it gives me an excuse to make things I like without being compelled to eat it all myself. But this was tricky. It’s his throat that was killing and thus no fun for swallowing. And it’s hot outside so that rules out most of the soups in my recipe repertoire.

Think think think.

Cucumber soup! My mom has been making this chilled July/August concoction since the days when it likely compelled my dad to “take her off the market.” It’s this perfect blend of refreshing and surprisingly filling and served alongside a proper BLT or a roast turkey sandwich, it’s the picture of summer lunch!

Or in D’s case, it hopefully provides a smooth and satisfying alternative to a SlimFast while his neck heals. After I dropped off a batch for D (and gave proper affection to the ever-entertaining Branner pupper who has gotten SO BIG), I went straight back to the store for another cucumber and can of soup ($1.73). I wanted my own...

1 big hot house cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks
1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz of Reduced Fat or Fat Free Sour Cream
1 TB dried dill
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2- 3/4 cup skim milk (depending on preferred consistency, I would start small and add in)
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  1. Peel and chop cucumber.
  2. Add all ingredients into a blender. I was using my mini food processor and did it in two batches because I plugged in my blender and discovered it had died. Something else to put on my “list.”
  3. I’m serious about the milk. You will definitely need some but start with about a half a cup and do a taste test. It’s best if it’s not too runny and you can still get some nice texture from the cucumber.
  4. Serve chilled with a fresh sprig of dill in the center because it’s a cold summer soup and even if it’s easy, it’s still pretty chic.
It tastes like summer to me. It tastes like coming inside after a long day of navigating the neighborhood sewer system because it let out at a natural rose quartz deposit. Or looking for tiny fossils at the creek back, way back in the woods that used to be behind our neighborhood. Coming inside sweaty, over-adventured, covered in creek clay and God knows what else and opening the fridge and there it was. A blender. A blender full of the palest creamy green puree that no other set of children our age would likely have had the same response to. There was dancing! There was merriment! There was soup!


Shelley said...

I'm definitely going to try that recipe.

You are such a good friend to D! Somehow detached adam's apple sounds worse than the previously thought dislocated. Oy.

So@24 said...

Your best entries are the ones where you find a way to incorporate a recipe into random, yet stories that could happen to anyone.

Cucumber soup eh? I'm down to try anything.

L Sass said...

Yum! I freaking love cool cucumber soup. I had my mouth wired shut after a jaw surgery eight years ago and I REALLY could have used some of this!

ANG* said...

canNOT wait to try this. maybe with a gourmet grilled cheese, ya know, before that vegan stuff kicks in...

TKTC said...

Shelley- So good, so easy. Give it a whirl! And per D, I really wanted soup and some puppy time. I guess that's friendship- a series of win/wins!

So@24: Thanks do what you know. And I know that every. single. thing. ties back to food:)

Sass: OUCH! I had a friend who had a similar surgery in high school. Painful but she's the one that lost her baby chub first so...there's that. I'm not advocating!

Ang: Gourmet grilled cheese. Can we please just do vegan on weeknights???