Summer’s here, meaning it’s time to cool down the soup!
I am a relatively recent convert to cold soups. It’s like having a smoothie, but less sweet and in a bowl; and they’re perfect for summer! Soups make a great meal because you can load many different kinds of vegetables into them, and they’re a change of pace from salads and the like. Gazpacho is a given as far as a tasty cold soup, and I have also tried fruity ones with success (I still dream about a cold watermelon soup I had at an Italian restaurant about a month ago). I am also a fan of cucumber soups, and decided to make my own with ingredients I had lying around the house.
I am also a recent convert to radishes. I’ve never disliked them, but I never really bought them to keep around the house for my culinary use. However, in my quest to largely stick with Farmer’s Market produce, I decided to give radishes a try, as they had some great-looking ones at the Farmer’s Market last week. Like most vegetables, radishes are (surprise) very good for you – they’re very high in Vitamin C, and the leaves are a good source of calcium. Plus, they’re nice and spicy!
I thought that spicy radishes would make a a nice complement to cool cucumber in a cold soup. So, I combined the two with a spring onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and almond milk in a blender, pureeing until nice and smooth. Did I mention that cold soups are probably one of the easiest meals in existence? The hardest part is waiting for an hour or so to eat it, since it needs an hour minimum to chill; so don’t make this if you’re hungry! Make it ahead of time and allow it to not only get cool, but develop a nice flavor. Speaking of, the spices are to taste; and the soup may seem a touch sparse upon first sip. I highly encourage taking a few bites before adding more seasoning, as the garlic, onion, and radish will hit you in the aftertaste! It creates a smooth, mellow taste that lingers as opposed to smacking you right away. But if, after a bit, it’s still too plain, feel free to add some more salt and pepper to your liking.
This soup goes well with a nice bread dipped in a seasoned olive oil. Dig in!
Cucumber Radish Soup (Serves 2)
1 small pickling cucumber (or half of a large cucumber)
1 large or 2-3 small spring onions, white parts only
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp dried peppermint OR 1-2 TB minced fresh peppermint
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
Coriander, salt, and pepper, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. You may want to chop the vegetables first (unless you have an incredibly strong blender). Chill for at least an hour before serving.