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Cucumber Gazpacho- A Crisp, Refreshing Chilled Soup

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 4th, 2014 | Recipes, Soups & Stews
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cucumber gazpachoIf you have a garden, then it is quite likely at this point in the summer that some vegetable or fruit is producing far more than you can handle.  We don’t have a garden, but we do live next door to a farm.  So while my refrigerator bins aren’t overflowing, I have nearly constant access to just picked produce.  One piece of produce that I have seen in great abundance is cucumber.

I bought a few recently and put them in the veggie crisper, waiting for them to be eaten as snacks.  However, as our anniversary dinner drew near, I realized that they still were sitting in the same bin.  Apparently no one had been craving cucumber that week.  Luckily I was seeking a cold soup to serve as the second course of our anniversary dinner.  I had contemplated making a fruit soup, but I wanted something with subtler flavors, something that was crisp and light.  That is when I remembered the cukes in the fridge.

I have made a handful of gazpachos, some more successful than others.  There are a few things that I have learned in making them:

  1. My family prefers a gazpacho that is light on vinegar.  The acidity of vinegar is not appealing for us.
  2. If bell peppers are used in the recipe, they need to be added lightly.
  3. Gazpachos are best when they are allowed to chill in the refrigerator for several hours and the flavors can meld.

Thus, with two cucumbers on hand, I began searching for other ingredients that could be used to add other notes of flavor.  A hint of sweetness and a bite of spice would make this a memorable soup.  I would use garlic to give it the bite instead of bell pepper, as many recipes like to use.  I also added the tiniest bit of vinegar to brighten the flavors without making it acidic. Green grapes added both sweetness and juice.

Served at our anniversary dinner, it was my husband’s favorite course.  I’m sure we’ll be stopping by the farm to get more cucumbers for another batch!

 

Cucumber Gazpacho


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Ingredients
  1. 2 cucumbers, peeled & seeded
  2. 3/4 cup green grapes
  3. 1 clove garlic
  4. 1 Tb. olive oil
  5. 1 tsp. white vinegar
  6. 1/2 cup water*
  7. Salt & pepper
  8. Slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop cucumbers. Combine cucumbers, grapes, garlic, oil, and vinegar in blender.
  2. Purée while gradually adding water. Continue to blend until smooth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in blender for at least 4 hours.
  4. Quickly purée once more before serving.
  5. Garnish each serving with a handful of almonds.
Notes
  1. *If you prefer a thinner soup, you can add an extra 1/4 cup of water.
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