Cold cucumber soup

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

8 cucumbers, peeled

1 tbsp white wine vinegar, or ½ lemon, squeezed

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 small onion, sliced into rings

2 tsp olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

Basil and/or mint leaves

 

What you need

 

Blender

 

What to do

 

Split each cucumber vertically and use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds. Chop the remaining flesh into chunks and process to a coarse purée. Pour the whole lot into a saucepan and set over a low heat to bubble and reduce. If you don't have a processor just chop the chunks up a bit more before you heat them - they will take a little longer to break down. After around 20 minutes of gentle heat with little bubbles blip-blip-blipping away the cucumber should soften, smooth out and thicken up. Taste the soup. If its texture is still grainy or crunchy it needs more cooking.

 

When you think the cucumber is cooked enough, pour it into a blender with the raw onion rings and crushed garlic in the bottom. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then blend to a smooth consistency. While the soup is blending slowly drizzle in first the vinegar or lemon juice and then the olive oil. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Bear in mind the cooled soup will taste less salty than when it is hot. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

 

Serve the soup very cold with torn mint and/or basil leaves scattered over.

 

You could eat this with crusty bread, or put little dishes with chopped chillies, toasted seeds, fried bacon bits or anything else you fancy on the table for people to help themselves.