On a recent (french fry) posting, I wrote that I was going to publish Emeril’s cucumber soup recipe later this summer. Once the idea popped into my head, I couldn’t stop thinking about making it.  So, with the help of the Vegan Hubby, it got made (our vegan version, anyway) and then eaten… much too quickly!

The first time I ate this soup was when my Dad dropped off a large container for us to try. That was long before we started down this food/health journey.  Yuck, my first thought was upon receiving the soup, Pete (the vegan husband) is going to have a lot of soup to eat.  And, he doesn’t even like cucumbers!

I don’t remember how or why I bucked up and tried it (probably some type of wager) but boy am I glad I did!

I have not changed much of Emeril’s recipe. If something works why mess with it?  Normally, when trying new dishes, I experiment with a couple of different published recipes and then change things according to my liking.  I have not bothered to do that with this gem because it is just that good.

With a mix of sweet and savory, the mint adds a subtlety that knocks this soup out of the ball park. There is a bit of work involved in making this but it is so worth it.   And, yes, the cucumber hater loves it too!
Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:
6 pounds cucumbers (about 6 cucumbers), peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 yellow bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
4 green onions
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
3 to 4 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste with 1 tsp salt
2 tsp Essence
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups plain yogurt (vegan: 24 oz. container of soy yogurt)
2 cups sour cream (vegan: 12 oz soy sour cream – I use Tofutti)
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional, I use no oil)
1 cup sour cream used to dollop on soup before serving (optional)
2 tbsp minced chives (optional – for garnish, tastes great!)

Directions:
Combine the cucumbers, bell peppers, green onions, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, dill, garlic, Essence, salt, cayenne, yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, and white wine vinegar in a large bowl.  Working in batches, purée the ingredients in a blender until very smooth.  Transfer the soup to the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 2 hours.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Serve the soup, with each bowl garnished with a dollop of the remaining sour cream and minced chives.

Have you ever been reluctant to try a new dish only to discover how great it was?  Share your story….

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