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?