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Friday, August 6, 2010

Chilled Spiced Cucumber Yogurt Soup

I'm a big fan of soups. I not only enjoy eating them, but I also enjoy making them. Because you can usually adjust and modify your recipe as you go along, I find it easy to get creative. I almost always end up throwing something in there that I hadn't originally intended on including. Additionally, soups are a great way to use up lots of produce. I know I've said this before but I'll say it again, almost anything can be made into a soup. Vegetable soups, fruit soups, cheese and beer soups, heck, I even pureed bacon into one of the last soups I made (see Amaranth Leaf Soup from July 24, 2010 ). But before I digress much further, let's get back to the soup at hand.

When I picked up the cucumbers at the market, I knew I wanted to make a cold cucumber soup. But I had to jazz it up a little bit. I often find that chilled cucumber soups are a bit, well, flat. They're nice and refreshing, but the lack of pizazz often results in a half eaten bowl of soup.

So I threw the cubanelle pepper in there. And some ground ginger. And a pinch of cayenne pepper. Ok, and a touch of garlic. These additions may seem strange, but that subtle heat and spiciness that these ingredients brought to the table added a much appreciated complexity to the soup that kept me interested and going back for more.

One thing to keep in mind when making this soup, or any chilled soup for that matter, is to adjust the seasoning after it is chilled. The soup will taste slightly different, and therefore will require a slightly different amount of seasoning, when it is very cold, versus room temperature.

Chilled Spiced Cucumber Yogurt Soup

4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded & chopped
1 cubanelle pepper, seeds & ribs removed, chopped
3 scallions (white & light green
parts only), chopped
4 tablespoons fresh mint
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and combine. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Transfer pureed soup into a large bowl and chill in refrigerator until very cold, about 2 hours. Adjust seasoning.

Ladle into bowls and top with an extra dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a little chopped mint, if desired.


  1. This recipe is wonderful! Made this exactly as written except substituted jalapeno pepper which was on hand. Did not adjust the seasoning at all. Served with the Zucchini Parmigiana - totally awesome meal without a salad. Love the capers and olives in the Zucchini Parm.

  2. Thanks, Debbie! Great to hear you made and enjoyed both this and the Zucchini Parmigiana! Sounds like a wonderful summer meal!

  3. I'm making this tonight!!! thanks for posting all these yummy recipes. I have so much food in my fridge that I need to cook it all before it goes bad. Maybe I'll have you over to eat and enjoy some vino!!!!

  4. Hi Leslie, I would love that!! Hope you enjoyed the soup last night!

  5. this was great!

  6. This sounds great. I wonder if there is anything I could sub the yogurt and cream for though. What do you think? (Anything non-dairy).

  7. Hi Cait, I would try substituting organic silken tofu for the for the yogurt and sour cream. If you try that, I might up the amount of lemon juice slightly, since the sour cream gives the soup a slight "tang". If you test this version, be sure to let me know how it turns out!