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Chilled Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup with Tomato Relish

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Saturday, 30 March 2013
List of viewable recipes from "The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook" by Chefs Collaborative, Ellen Jackson

Recipe from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook by Chefs Collaborative, Ellen Jackson (Taunton Press, 2013)

Photo by Gentl & Hyers
Frank Stitt

Highlands Bar and Grill 

Birmingham, Alabama

A cool and refreshing twist on an old favorite, this recipe features thick, local buttermilk rather than the usual sour cream or yogurt. A healthy dose of red-wine vinegar and a spoonful of 'Toy Box' or 'Sungold' tomato relish for a garnish provide just the right tang. Be sure to plan ahead when making this soup to allow enough time for the cucumbers to marinate and the soup to chill before serving. The flavors that develop are worth waiting for. 

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 10 small)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 sprig fresh basil; more for garnish
  • 1 sprig fresh dill; more for garnish
  • ¼ cup Grenache or red-wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt; more as needed
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes preferably 'Toy Box' or 'Sungold'

Peel the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Slice the cucumbers into ¼-inch-thick half moons and place in a large nonreactive bowl; you should have about 4 cups. Halve and slice the shallot the same way, into thin half moons. Add to the cucumbers with the leaves from the basil sprig, torn, and the fronds from the dill sprig. Pour the vinegar over the cucumbers, sprinkle with 2 large pinches of salt, and let stand for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator or overnight.

In a blender or food processor, purée the mixture on high speed in two batches, adding 2 tablespoons of water to each. Process for 30 to 45 seconds and pour into a large bowl. Repeat. Whisk in the buttermilk and additional salt to taste. Add more water if the soup is too thick. Chill.

To serve, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and season with a pinch of salt. Divide the soup among four 6-ounce bowls, put a spoonful of tomatoes in the center, and garnish with a sprig of basil or dill.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 April 2013 )
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