Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint and Lemon Thyme

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We are at that fun point in summer when the weather is keeping up guessing. I have spent this past week, fussing and working through this cucumber soup recipe to get this down just right for you. However, this weekend as I get ready to post the recipe, it turns cool enough to really want to share the lovely lentil and black-eyed pea soup that I enjoyed for dinner. I did share pictures on instagram, if you want to take a peek. So, now onto the soup of the day, it is all about inspired Indian cooking, you would not except anything less, right?

It took me a visit to Spain about two years ago, to realize that the traditional Gazpacho actually had a cooked base. In fact, some variations also include some bread to add body to the soup. We had visited in summer, and ended up eating loads of the tomato based gazpacho, well that and paella. As we did visit Valencia. I shall save the paella for another day, today let me talk about my newest creation, that I am simply calling a chilled cucumber soup with loads of mint, that is finished off with Lemon Thyme, oh and did I say ginger?

I tend to get carried away, when trying to put together recipes, and this recipe all things considered was one that did not make the Spices and Seasons cookbook, as we were running out of space and time, so I am excited that I can revisit and share the recipe here.

It has many layers of flavors and with a nice kick from a touch of cayenne and enough black pepper to make you think twice about meek and mild mannered cucumber soups. After all, there is no point in living with the seasons, if you cannot add a nice amount of spice to go with it. This soup will remind you of a cucumber raita, that met a gazpacho and stopped by to join its friend creamy coconut milk for just a bit.

Before we move on to the recipe, I did want to let you know that I will be at the Rye Farmer’s Market next week, dishing up some smoked eggplant puree, if you are around please do stop by and say hello. The market is bursting with eggplants and heirloom tomatoes, both of which will be put to good use for my demo.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint and Lemon Thyme

Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint and Lemon Thyme

This soup is perfect for these summer months, when the cucumbers are prolific. A multilayered soup, it is great for a meal out in the patio and the best part is that the flavors improve and blossom when kept overnight.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup green onions (finely chopped, all edible parts)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 3 to 4 medium sized cucumbers, peeled (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup natural yogurt (can be low fat), note if you wish to keep this recipe vegan use soy yogurt instead
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Lemon Thyme and Black Pepper to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and add in the ground cumin and cook for about 20 seconds, add in the green onions and the grated ginger and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture softens and is fragrant.
  2. Cool for a few minutes, and add with the coconut milk into the bowl of a blender.
  3. Add in the cucumbers, yogurt and the fresh mint leaves with the salt and blend to a smooth puree.
  4. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.
  5. Serve garnished with lemon thyme and generous grinds of fresh black pepper.

Notes

The prep time for this dish includes the chilling time of 20 minutes.

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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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