2 Jul 2010

Cool Soup for Hot Summer Days

Everyone enjoying the heat?  Yes?  … I 'm quite enjoying it -  but not necessarily when, as last week, I'm trying to sort out the architectural structure of the VP: digging holes, moving raised beds and laying brick paths. (I'd be a pathetic labourer, far too wussy.)  My forays into the Veg Patch are a little less impromptu than usual, planned so that I'm not toiling away in the heat (as I was last weekend when I felt distinctly peculiar by the afternoon) - the veg patch is between two blocks of flats so it gets very early morning shade and again in the evening.  My plans don't always work and I've managed to get both heat rash and sunburn on my feet this week by gardening in sandals (oops, forgot the suncream).  And it looks like it may continue, at least for another week in London, according to the BBC …

If this is true, I thought I'd have a go at this cooling summer soup, found in a vegetarian cookbook* from the library.  I'll have to let you know how it turns out as this will be my first attempt at it, but it looks good to me - probably tastes like a big bowl of runny Tzatziki.  (Of course, you could always put the cucumber, mint and ice into a jug of Pimm's and enjoy the Greek yogurt with a dish of strawberries and summer fruits … or do all three!)

Chilled Cucumber, Yogurt and Mint Soup

-- image © 'Meat Free Meals' 
For 6 bowls, you will need:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) Greek Yogurt
  • a generous handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) cold water or light veg stock
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 ice cubes and mint sprigs to serve
1.   Leave a chunk of cucumber to grate later for decoration. Coarsely grate the remainder and put in a large bowl with all the other ingredients for the soup and mix together.  Chill for up to 12 hours. (I imagine that means you can eat it sooner if your happy with the degree of chilled-out-ness.)

2.   Before serving, stir the soup, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the soup into six bowls.  Into each bowl add an ice cube, 1 Tbsp of the reserved cucumber and a few mint sprigs.

3.    Try eating as finger food, mopped up with rolled up tortilla.  Best enjoyed while sitting in the path of a cooling breeze!

(*Adapted from Good Housekeeping ‘Meat Free Meals’, pub. June 2009)


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