Chilled Lemon Cucumber & Fresh Pea Soup for summer

29 Wed, 2011 § 1 Comment

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon…the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James

The essence of summer reveals herself in many forms:

the intoxicating sweetness of small, deeply red strawberries

pungent, smokey notes wafting from a grill

giggles & splashing rise from the pool…

the tart-yet-sweet burst of cherry tomatoes popping in my mouth…

buttery, flaky fried zucchini melting over my tongue…

floating cucumbers freshen & sweeten a cool pitcher of water…

Summer afternoons are delicious.  It is not just that I am a hot-weathered girl.  The colors, the sounds — the full sensory experience of summer it bright & alive — bringing with it pieces of nostalgia & chance to create our own stories.

Often the intense afternoon heat diminishes my appetite; but rather than forgo eating, light & cooling soups have been on my mind & just the treat my body has craved.  It is no secret I am a simple cook.  When ingredients are fresh & at their peak, there is no need for frills.  I prefer to let the food speak for itself.

I have always wanted to try a chilled cucumber soup & remembered seeing a recipe where Helene used lemon cucumbers.  Perfect, because I just happened to have a couple lovely lemon cucumbers from farmer’s market waiting in the crisper & fresh peas to shuck.

Chilled Lemon Cucumber & Fresh Pea Soup with Pistachios

lightly adapted from Tartelette

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch 1 cup fresh peas until just tender, about 6 – 8 minutes.  Drain & immediately immerse the peas in a bowl of cold water, preferably with ice, to cool & stop the cooking process.  Drain completely once they are cold.

While the peas cook, peel & chop 2 – 4 lemon cucumbers.  I did not seed mine but definitely would if I were using regular cucumbers.

Place the peas & cucumbers in a food processor & puree until smooth.  After pureeing, you might need to add water, or “milk” like I did, depending on the amount of water in your cucumbers, to reach the consistency you desire.  I added just a splash of (vanilla) hemp milk, which added a slight creaminess & sweetness to the soup.  I was afraid water would water it down & make it bland.  Add sea salt & fresh pepper to taste.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Garnish individual bowls with a couple crushed, toasted pistachios.

makes 3 – 4 appetizer servings or 1 – 2 full servings


What is your favorite chilled soup?  What are your current summer cravings?

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