Katrina and I made this soup together in the summer of 1994 in Waterville, ME. She had rented an apartment downtown off the Concourse and I drove up from my summer job, waiting tables, in Boothbay Harbor. In the thick, wet August heat we sat in the kitchen, fan humming, drinking chilled, cheap, white wine and flipping through her copy of Mooosewood, looking for ways to avoid turning on the stove.
If you grew up eating healthy food in the 70’s and early 80’s you grew up with Moosewood. Your Mom had paperback copies of the Moosewood Cookbook and Enchanted Broccoli Forest on the shelf. The pages were stained for every recipe she had made from spinach-crust quiche to Confetti Spaghetti. This is where we first encountered whole wheat, honey and wheat germ. It was healthy whole food before we decided that real food couldn’t possibly be healthy.
We tested this soup the other night without consulting Mollie but I think we’re close. For texture, we seeded the cucumbers, then shredded them with the box grater rather than the food processor. Thin, fresh, full-fat Amish yogurt was a perfect base. Mint and dill added brightness and a squeeze of lemon brought the tartness we were missing. We thinned the soup with water without watering it down.
Testing the recipe at 10pm on a hot muggy night in DC I was back on college. Katrina, who I had not spoken to in fifteen years, had contacted me on Facebook just that day. The soup was every bit as good as I remember, and the wine was just a little bit better.
Creamy Cucumber Soup
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 large cucumbers, grated
- 2 cups Amish yogurt, plain
- 1 tbs mint, finely diced
- 2 tbs dill, chopped
- 1 cup cold water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Onions and diced cucumbers for garnish
- Using a microplane, grate the shallot and garlic into a large bowl.
- Stir in the cucumbers and yogurt.
- Stir through fresh herbs.
- Add water to dilute to desired consistency.
- Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. You may not need to use all of the juice. Add a tablespoon or two at a time.
- Garnish with diced onions, cucumbers.