chilled cucumber soup & dark rye bread

If your garden is anything like ours, your vegetables are just starting to take off. We have runner bean plants twisting up their stakes, daily producing half a dozen crisp green beans, pumpkins steadily increasing in size, zucchinis growing exponentially (why is it that you leave an under-sized zucchini just one day and before you know it you have 5 marrows!?) and the odd strawberry making its sweet appearance each week.

I went away last weekend with some good friends of ours, and on return did a quick harvest of their huge and glorious backyard garden. J had apparently harvested just that morning, yet I still found myself lugging 20 cucumbers or so back to the house! What to do with 20 cucumbers?

I’ve never made cucumber soup. In fact I’ve never even had a cold soup before. It’s a concept that doesn’t sit right with me.. Nevertheless, I thought I’d give it a go. And it was good. In the “Mm. Wow. That’s pretty good” sense. I don’t know it’ll make the frequent meal list, but both J and I enjoyed the alternative and refreshing meal at the end of a warm summer day.

Chilled Cucumber Soup
Serves 2

dash of butter
dash of olive oil
1 spring onion
1 clove of garlic
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 long cucumbers, washed, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 up veg stock
1/2 cup white wine
pinch of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tblsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp mustard
1/4 cup yoghurt

Put the butter and olive oil in a pan, let the butter melt.

Add the spring onion, garlic and potato, stir-fry until the onion is glassy. Add the cucumber and stir-fry for two or three minutes, it should take a little bit of colour.

Add the stock and wine and let the soup lightly boil until the potatoes are done. Let cool.

Pour soup into food processor, add all the spices then blend until pureed.

Stir through yoghurt then chill until cold.


If you want to serve this soup warm add 1/2 cup cream with the stock and wine (leave out the yoghurt), pour into bowls after pureeing and enjoy immediately.

Note: Being the bread-lover that I am, I have a list of must-makes from my Alison & Simon Holst NZ Bread book which I am slowly working through, so I fast-forwarded to the Dark Rye Bread (Amazing! Cocoa, coffee and caraway in bread!) and spent the afternoon kneading and rising in the glasshouse this beautiful loaf. I think this was necessary to complete the soup, and recommend baking something of the sort yourself should you attempt the Cucumber Soup this summer.

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