No tomatoes to spare? Try cucumber gazpacho

It’s hard to comprehend how we have tomatoes ripening in the garden but so few cucumbers.

Not that I’m complaining. I’ve long been ambivalent to cucumbers, challenged to use all of the cute, juicy lemon variety that we typically grow. Another eight cucumbers to pick today? Oh, goodie … Now what?

Fortunately, my younger son is showing almost as much enthusiasm for cucumbers as tomatoes. He’ll pick both off the vines and start gnawing away. If it’s a cucumber, fine. If it’s a tomato, I may just arm-wrestle him for it.

Because I, too, will bite right into a ripe tomato, we rarely have an unallocated abundance. And unlike cucumbers, we can dry them and freeze them, not to mention making salsa and tomato sauce. I’ve tried, and pickled lemon cukes just don’t make the cut.

Part of the problem is their seediness, although I’ve certainly been known to scrape out the seeds before serving them. Deseeded, the cucumbers could vie for my affections a bit better in this tomato-less gazpacho recipe from the Chicago Tribune. I love cold soups in the summertime, and this one stands to be even more refreshing with tangy Greek yogurt.

Tribune News Service photo

Cucumber-Basil Gazpacho

Peel and chop 3 medium seedless cucumbers. Combine in a bowl with 2 ribs celery, chopped; 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped; 2 garlic cloves, peeled; 2 slices white bread, torn into pieces; 1/2 cup Greek yogurt; 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 cup water.

Transfer half of mixture to a blender jar and process until very smooth. Pour blended mixture into a clean bowl and repeat blending step with second half of mixture. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled.

To serve, blend 1 cup soup with 1 cup fresh basil and 2 tablespoons fresh parsley until very smooth. Stir mixture back into soup. Serve very cold. Makes 6 servings.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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