I considered calling this Alex’s Worst Nightmare Soup, but I decided that for SEO purposes, it wasn’t a good idea. Just kidding. Sort of. Much to my disappointment, my husband is not a fan of either cucumbers or buttermilk. He picks the cucumbers out of all my salads and leaves them languishing on the edge of his plate. And two years ago on our anniversary, he surprised me by baking our wedding cake–a recipe that calls for buttermilk. He went to the supermarket twice because he thought the first carton he bought had gone bad. We he told me this, his face had a pinched look and a slightly greenish tinge. It reminded me of what I looked like as a kid after a long drive in the way-back of our station wagon. That is, about to throw up.
Hmm. Maybe I’m not doing a good job of selling this soup to you. I’ll try harder, because it would be such a shame for you to miss out on it!
In July of 2008, I was fortunate to be hired as the recipe tester for The Veselka Cookbook. One summer, 100 recipes from the famous NYC Ukrainian diner. There was sweat, tears, and lots of perogies. My favorite recipe from the whole book was this cucumber buttermilk soup. It’s quick and simple, light, healthy, and refreshing. The whole thing takes about five minutes to whirl up in your food processor.
Crisp English cucumber, tangy buttermilk, fresh dill, a dollop of Dijon mustard and a splash of half-and-half for added richness. I could eat a big bowl of this for lunch every day in August and not get tired of it. I made it recently when my mom came over for lunch, and she loved it, too. Cucumber soup is really one of those girls only foods, isn’t it? Like Greek salad and goat cheese. Boys, you’ve got to get on the bandwagon. You are seriously missing out.
- 3 large English cucumbers
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk (low fat is fine)
- 1 cup half-and-half (regular or fat free)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
- Extra virgin olive oil, for serving
- Peel two of the cucumbers and chop them into large chunks. Put them in a food processor with the garlic and process until smooth.
- Transfer the pureed cucumbers to a large bowl and whisk in the buttermilk, half-and-half, dill, salt, pepper, and mustard.
- Dice the remaining cucumber. Serve the soup chilled, sprinkled with the diced cucumber, chopped fresh dill, and a drizzle of olive oil.