Home on the Range: Drink Your Vegetables | Bite Club

Home on the Range: Drink Your Vegetables

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Blender soups: cucumber-yogurt and gazpacho - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • Blender soups: cucumber-yogurt and gazpacho
When the weather gets steamy and local produce is abundantly in season, the blender is your friend.

A bit of chopping, a few buzzes in the blender and you can have two cold soups made within 10 minutes each: cool as a cucumber-yogurt with your choice of herb (mint, dill or cilantro) and a classic tomato and bell pepper gazpacho spiked with sherry or balsamic vinegar.

They do each benefit from a bit of time in the fridge but are also delicious sipped right out of the blender. (Not that anyone would do that.)



Packed in mason jars, these soups travel well in a cooler to kick off an elegant holiday weekend picnic menu.  Don't forget a few herb springs wrapped in a damp dish towel, or cherry tomatoes to gild the lily (aka garnish the soup).

No one needs to know they took you so little time and effort. Cheers to drinking your vegetables!

Herbed Cucumber-Yogurt Soup

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh herb leaves, such as mint, cilantro or dill
  • 1½-2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 medium cucumbers (about 1½ pounds), peeled if desired and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (if Greek, you might need to add a little water)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • extra herb sprigs for garnish
Directions
  1. Using a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic, herbs and 1½ teaspoons salt.
  2. Add the cucumber chunks and process until finely chopped. Add the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and cumin and blend until smooth.
  3. Taste and add salt or more lime juice as desired. Thin with a little water if desired.
  4. Chill and serve garnished with herbs.

Gazpacho

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ sweet white onion or red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1½-2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 4 large tomatoes (about 3 pounds, to yield about 4 cups), cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • several dashes hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
Directions
  1. Using a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic and onion with 1½ teaspoons salt until finely minced.
  2. Add the bell pepper, cucumber and tomatoes and pulse a few times until relatively smooth.
  3. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce and pulse to blend.
  4. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as desired. Thin with a little water if needed.
  5. Chill and serve garnished with cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices.
Source: adapted from a recipe by Jim Lamberti, former owner of Inn on the Common in Craftsbury
Got cooking questions? Feel free to email them to pasanen@sevendaysvt.com.