Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cold Celery-Cucumber Soup

I just came back from two (too short) weeks of vacation in France where we spent time with relatives and friends in rural Normandie, Lozère (that's in the middle of nowhere France) and the French Alps (near Annecy - a city worth visiting both in the Summer and Winter!) Needless to say that we had a great time....

It was really hot (unusually hot for the season), which made us eat a lot of salades composées, generally made up with fresh vegetables from the potager. Spending time with friends who are lucky motivated enough grow their own vegetables in their potager (think fresh lettuce, peas,  tomatoes, fresh French beans, fava beans, zucchinis, eggplants, etc....) reminded me of my grand-mother's silly cucumbers & zucchinis!What I loved about gardening with my grand-mother in the Summer was to watch the vegetables grow and trick us into growing too fast for us to harvest and eat (hence a lot of canning!) My grand-mother got really upset when one zucchini/cucumber would escape her thorough gardening and hide from her to become so big that we could only puree them into a soup...

If you are feeling overwhelmed with cucumbers this summer, here is a quick recipe. I make this soupe froide a lot either with celery or with fennel. The recipe below is vegan (and my husband did say "hmm c'est super bon!!) but you could definitively use cream or yogurt instead of silk tofu and raw cashew nuts. Bon appétit!

- 2 small or 1 large cucumber (skin off but with seeds unless too bitter)
- 1 small celery stalks & leaves
- 1 small red hot pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup of raw cashew nuts
- About 1/2 lb of silk tofu (250g)
- 2 Tbs of olive oil
- salt, pepper

  • In a blender, put the silk tofu
  • Add cucumber and celery (cut into small pieces)
  • Add cashew nuts, hot pepper, salt and olive oil
  • Blend until really smooth
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve cold
My Personal Comments
  • In total I have about 7 cups (1750 ml) of ingredients in the blender (loosely packed)
  • The trick is to blend the soup longer than you would want at high speed so that it becomes really smooth.
  • I would add about a cup (250gr) of plain yogurt instead of the silk tofu.
  • If using fennel, two small bulbs would do the work.