Summer Soups are an enticing way to begin any meal. Chilled soups can be served as impressive starters or a light entrée.
As summer temperatures continue to warm up, I’d like to share one of my favorite (and often requested) hot weather soup recipes with you. This creamy chilled soup is a wonderful first course for a summertime meal. It’s ideal for entertaining, as it can be prepared well in advance. The refreshing taste of the cucumber is carried by the tofu, which adds substance and stands in for the heavy cream so often called for in similar soups. Whenever I serve this, diners inevitably ask, “Are you sure there isn’t any cream in this soup?”
Cool Cucumber Soup
Makes 4 servings
12 ounces soft regular or silken tofu, drained and cubed
1⁄2 sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper
4 dill or parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Peel, seed, and chop the cucumbers. Put the chopped cucumbers, tofu, onion, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the dill weed in a blender and process until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining dill weed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, chill four soup bowls or prepare edible bread bowls (see note). To serve, ladle the soup into the chilled bowls or edible bread bowls.
Note: A great way to serve this soup is in an edible “bread bowl.” To do this, purchase four small loaves of whole grain bread or four very large rolls. Slice in half, lengthwise and scoop out most of the inside (reserve or freeze for making breadcrumbs), leaving a half-inch thick wall on the bread. Fill with soup, garnish each bowl with a fresh sprig of dill or parsley and serve!