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This Cold Cucumber Soup with Greek Yogurt, seriously it is one of the best dinners I’ve had all summer, yet alone during the heatwave (the other top spot goes to a smoked tofu burger, can you believe it, but I can’t share it with you until I’ve figured out how to make the slaw so it does not drip everywhere!)
Seasoned with dill and a splash of white wine vinegar, and enriched with Greek yogurt, the full recipe served it with a handful of simply fried courgette slices dipped in flour (I used slices of one of my parents marrows, they don’t have a hosepipe ban where they are, so most of their garden is still intact!) and some lovely spiced almonds with sesame and nigella seeds in a spicy butter. I sat at the table by myself (J was out, and besides he won’t willingly get that close to anything cucumber related) and polished two bowlfuls of this stunning soup, dropping in almonds and fried marrow pieces as I went. It was simple, but felt decadent, and may just end up being the most memorable home cooked (if you can call it cooked) meal of the summer.
I’ve kept the Cold Cucumber Soup pretty much as is here – I tried upping the amount of dill but it ruined the delicate flavours – just opting not to strain it as the recipe calls for as I have a high powdered blender (make your own call on this) but I’ve ditched the courgette slices (too much effort for the payoff), and made up my own nut recipe based off of the original, because I felt they were crying out for honey. Don’t skim on soaking the almonds, by the way, as I have also tried this with both, and for some reason it is the soaking that makes them so addictive in the soup!
This simple Cold Cucumber Soup is enriched with Greek yogurt, garlic and dill before being served with an addictive handful of sweet spiced almonds – this is the perfect lunch or light dinner for hot weather.
For the Chilled Cucumber Soup
350g (12 .5 oz) cucumbers (roughly 2 large cucumbers), cut into chunks
1 small garlic clove
small handful fresh dill
75g (2.5 oz) Full Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
For the Honey Sesame Almonds
large handful whole almonds, in their skins
knob unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp runny honey
large pinch sea salt
To make the soup, blitz all the soup ingredients except for the salt (remembering to peel the garlic clove!) together until smooth with 50ml (scant 1/4 cup). Season to taste with salt, and chill for at least 3 hours. If, like me, your bullet blender is a little small to take all the ingredients at once, blitz the cucumbers first to make space, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Pour boiling water over the almonds and set them aside to soak for at least 30 minutes, but I usually do this when I make the soup and stash them in the fridge until they’re needed.
To make the Honey Sesame Almonds, drain them well and pat dry on a piece of kitchen towel. Heat the butter in a small frying pan over a medium high heat, and fry the chilli flakes, sesame and nigella seeds once the butter is frothing for a minute or so until aromatic.
Stir in the almonds, honey and salt, and cook until the honey is bubbling and has coated the almonds. Remove from the heat and scrape onto a plate – transfer to the fridge for 10 minutes until the honey has set.
Serve the soup with the almonds on the side so people can add their own as they eat.
This recipe serves two as a light lunch or starter, but can go further in smaller bowls, or without the almonds in little shot glasses garnished with a little more dill to enjoy before a meal.
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