Cucumber dill soup

There’s a pretty good argument for keeping an herb garden for oneself. Most recipes are greatly enhanced by fresh herbs, yet buying them from the grocer is annoying at best, unless you are feeding a large number of people or preparing a recipe that freezes well. Around these parts, most fresh herbs run a couple dollars per bunch, of which any recipe will only require a fraction. I’ve been growing herbs for a few years now based on this logic.

The other thing is to match herbs to whatever else you are growing. Basil and oregano are musts if you are growing good tomatoes for bruschetta, for example. What I didn’t plant this year was dill to go along with the cucumber vine in my garden. I’ll give myself a pass on this one, as I already mentioned that the vine was an orphan we took under our wing. I learned my lesson, either cut the cuke or grow the dill next year. Mebbe ‘cut the cuke or grow the dill’ would make a nice non-sequitur to interject into future conversations. I’ll pass it off as a folksy aphorism from a great aunt or something….

Cucumber-Dill soup (serves ~6)

1 large Japanese cucumber (or two medium English ones)
1/2 cup fresh dill
16 oz Greek Strained yogurt (I use skim or 2%, but if you want the fat, go for it)
1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
1/2 medium sweet onion, peeled
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper (4-6 dashes from the grinder)
a couple dashes of Valentina’s hot sauce

Destem the dill and chop cucumber, reserving a few nice slices and sprigs for garnishes (my regret about the pic above). Chop onion. Add everything to a blender or food processor or bowl if you are using an immersion blender. Puree. Garnish. Serve as an appetizer or light lunch with toast. Simple.

I think everyone’s taste will vary, so I’d play around with the Worcester/vinegar/lemon juice ratio the first time until it is right for you. Just add half of what is above and add the rest to taste.

BTW, if you end up blowing two bucks on fresh dill like I did, the temptation will be to use more dill. Don’t. Overwhelming dill is not pleasant to most palates. If you like, cut the half and half, double the yogurt and dill, mebbe add a little garlic and you got yourself a chip or crudites dip…not that I’ve tried it, but sounds like it’ll work.


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