Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma. Adapted frm Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, “Summer”, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).
Cucumbers are native to Asia, where they have been eaten for thousands of years. They contain a great deal of water, which makes them particularly refreshing in the hot summer months. When choosing cucumbers, avoid the waxed variety sold in grocery stores year-round, and instead seek out the long, thin-skinned English or hothouse variety. It has a superior flavor, less water and far fewer seeds. Three lemon cucumbers can be substituted for the single English (hothouse) cucumber, if you like.
- 3 cups plain yogurt
- 1 large English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely grated, plus 6 paper-thin cucumber slices with skin intact for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus 6 dill sprigs for garnish
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the sieve and let drain in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Discard the captured liquid and place the yogurt in the bowl.
- 2 Add the grated cucumber, garlic, olive oil, mint, chopped dill and milk and mix well. Stir in the vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 3 Before serving the soup, season with salt and pepper. Ladle into chilled individual bowls and garnish each serving with a cucumber slice and a dill sprig. Serve well chilled.
- 4 Serves 6.