Sunday, July 18, 2010

Easy Breezy Summertime: Spicy Pickle (Cucumber) Soup

I have forever been a girl built for autumn- better suited for well-worn jeans and someone else's sweater than weather that makes my hair identifiable via satellite.

And yet.

This year I am in love with the summer. Even in the heat, I feel a breeze. I am drawn to early mornings where I can fuss over that patch of edible earth. I roam toward golden afternoons on two wheels (that's mine with the basket).

Isn't it just like summer to make my Internet eye wander? Wander from the screen toward a dappled patch of grass or vine-ripening fruit. Wander from the city toward sandy shores (some salty, some not). And, inversely, wander away from the evenings formerly spent typing. I have four posts loaded right now and not a one of them had any words...just the pictures. My goal for this week is to clear that up because man alive...summer is too good for eating not to share it.

My mom was in town last weekend and I thought it would be an appropriate time to formally give you her cucumber soup recipe. This was the summer classic growing up- I can still see the gray ceramic mugs she served it up in. Every member of the family beaming when they opened the fridge and saw that blender in there, frosted from the chilling process. I love cold cucumber soup. I love it so much that, as an adult, I've taken to adding heat.

That's a strange way to say it but it's true- spicy pickle juice changed the course of this recipe's story. That's what made it mine- different from my mom's but clearly, gratefully derivative.
I attempted to type up this recipe a couple years ago but have had the hardest time doing it here, where things become official in a sense. Lucky for me, I won't have to.

As with all good recipes, Cucumber Soup now has several storylines going. There's not much more satisfying for a home cook than having someone take something you love and make it their own.

So it worked out that the person who introduced me to McClure's Spicy Pickles (and to the summer glory of coastal Michigan) is the one who has the fully typed and lovely recipe up on her blog today. You know the backstory, now take two people's word that this is a summer soup to be immediately added to your arsenal. It's worth wandering toward.

Danielle has her spin posted over at Foodmomiac, mine is below (they're similar but not the same).

  • One seedless English cucumber, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks (if you only have a cucumber with seeds, just remove them)
  • Small handful of fresh dill
  • 1 cup spinach leaves (kicks in both color and some lovely health benefits)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can low fat cream of chicken soup (I've tried to find a proper sub here. I can't. Forgive me and yourselves.)
  • 1/2 cup McClure's spicy juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine everything in a blender. Chill for at least an hour while you enjoy a cool beverage on the patio.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Summer's the greatest thing since spring.

Molly McGuffin said...

Is that Momma Kate with a sparkler?! Loves it, that's worth a post in its own. Can't wait to impress people with this soup - thanks!!

TKTC said...

Freckle- A Spring girl, huh? An optimist I think. Three awesome seasons in front of you at that point. And thanks:)

Molly McG- Momma Kate at Danny's wedding. She is the cutest:)

We Are Not Martha said...

I love love love cucumber soup. So refreshing (and pretty too!).

Miss you and glad to hear you're having a fabulous summer!! :)


TKTC said...

Sues (WANM): I am having a tremendous summer. And I'm extending with a week in your general vicinity in September. A meal is in order.

Kelly said...

I agree with everything in your post. Although I have to say, taking my laptop to the back porch has allowed me to embrace summer and still type. Beautifully written.

McClure's Pickles said...

Fantastic post.

"Better suited for well-worn jeans and someone else's sweater than weather that makes my hair identifiable via satellite."

Also loved the dill bouquet.

We seriously enjoy reading all the creative things people make with our products and this is going down as a favorite.

Thanks so much,
The McClure's Gang