Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Cilantro and Cumin

I'm just back from a 10-day honeymoon in Italy, with a whirlwind tour of Venice, Tuscany, and Lake Como.  Italy was amazing (bonus points for the freshest eggplant and tomatoes I've ever eaten), but it's nice to be home and cooking tonight.

One thing I didn't get a lot of in Italy was soy, so I jumped on this soup for the double-dose from the soy milk and soy yogurt - of course, use rice, almond, or coconut-based versions of the milk and yogurt if you prefer.  Because cucumbers take center stage, it's worth a trip to your local farmers' market for the freshest ones you can find. 

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and shredded cucumber
  • 2 cups plain non-dairy milk
  • 3 cups plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1. Cook the cumin in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 minute, until toasted.

2. Combine the cumin in a large bowl with all of the remaining ingredients, except the 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves.  Cover and chill for 1 hour.

3. Ladle 1 cup of soup into each of 6 bowls.  Sprinkle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon cilantro leaves.

The soup has a wonderful creaminess that makes it perfect as a first course before a spicy entree.  If you're not up for cooking both courses tonight, cheat and serve with one of the Mexican entrees from Amy's frozen line.  If you have time on your hands, browse some of the New Mexican-style entrees I posted earlier this month. 

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (about 1 cup), Calories 135 

Tasting Notes:
Even better than I imagined, which is always a nice surprise.  Great fresh cucumber, and wonderful thick creaminess from the yogurt, but my favorite part was the cumin - yum.  What great toasty/spiciness it gave to each bite.  I would have rated this recipe higher for flavor, except that I didn't love the texture.  Next time I would puree the whole mixture for a smooth soup, since I didn't like the shredded bits of cucumber and cilantro pieces swimming around.


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