Cucumber Soup

 I've been waiting to share this recipe until cucumber season. After making a double batch of this (using four cucumbers) I still have five in the fridge, so I think cucumber season is upon us. 

I only planted two or three plants and we've picked quite a few cukes this year. There's nothing (food-wise) that gives me more joy that making something delicious out of homegrown produce, so I hope to share several recipes over the next few weeks.

I originally found this recipe in Real Simple a few years ago. Using cucumbers and mint, both of which we grow in abundance, this chilled soup is perfect for hot August evenings.

Real Simple's Cool Cucumber Soup:

- 1 lb cucumbers peeled and cut (about 2)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients in a blender and chill until cold. Garnish with mint and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serves two. 

This is a great healthy lunch, and I think you could substitute sour cream with greek yogurt if you wanted to. I also like to serve this with an open-faced Caprese sandwich. Since we also usually have lots of tomatoes and basil or oregano we make this a lot in the summer and fall. They go great with a cool soup like this or with an Italian pasta dish.

Here's the quick run-down on Caprese in case you haven't made it:

Slice a baguette, top with a slice of mozzarella or shredded mozzarella and broil until bubbly. Top with sliced tomatoes and basil (or oregano if you don't have basil) and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with course salt (I used a garlic sea salt here) and enjoy.

I hope that if you have a veggie garden you are enjoying the fruits of your labor! If you don't have a garden maybe these dishes will motivate you to start one next year. Tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and mint are all easy to grow and you can even grow them all in pots so if you have so much as a patio you too can be a "gardener." Homegrown or not, I hope you enjoy these fresh tasting recipes : ) Happy Summer eating!

Thanks for reading!
- Haley


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