When I was little and I would go to stay with my biological father for the weekend, he would always give a long English cucumber. I was responsible for not loosing my cucumber or getting it too dirty to eat and also for feeding myself when I got hungry. It was a pretty ingenious idea really. Cucumbers are healthy, delicious and provide both nutrition and hydration. I don’t mean to imply that my father only fed me cucumbers. He also made meals of big baskets of fresh blueberries, occasionally fried up whole wheat apple pancakes, ordered sugary chinese takeout, gave me steamed milk with almond syrup when we would visit his favourite espresso cafe, took me to salad bars and allowed me to put as much thousand island dressing and bacon bits as my little piglet heart desired on my vegetables and was easily talked into buying apple fritters or cookies. I didn’t really spend that much time with him when I was little and I might have forgotten about the cucumber trick except that my sister was born 12 years after me and when I picture her as a toddler she is always carrying a cucumber.
This Cucumber Soup requires a wee bit more effort than my father’s recipe…but not much. It is adapted from one of the healthy cookbooks that my mother sent me off to college with (thanks mum!), so it is actually pretty low in fat….not something that I can say about much of my cooking. The combination of flavours is simple, unexpected and (to my palate) delicious. I find this soup particularly appealing in hot weather or when my stomach is feeling unwell.
COLD CUCUMBER SOUP WITH DILL AND SESAME
- 3 medium cucumbers (about 10 oz), peeled, seeded and sliced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons white wine (I wonder if this is totally needed?)
- 2 cups yogurt or buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons chopped dill
- salt to taste
- about 1 teaspoon white vinegar if needed
- Saute the cucumbers and scallion in the sesame oil over medium heat until they become translucent.
- Add the stock and white wine and partially cover the pot. Allow the soup to simmer until the cucumbers are quite soft. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Add the buttermilk to the cooled soup and puree it using a standing or immersion blender. It should be smooth with just tiny little flecks of crunchy cucumber.
- Stir in the dill and add salt and vinegar to taste. This soup makes a nice meal with arugula salad with smoked fish, radishes and avocado.