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Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Avocado

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Serves four.

Yields about 6 cups.

This gorgeous, no-cook soup is quickly made in the food processor. Chill it for at least 3 hours before serving. As the soup chills, the flavors meld and the texture becomes smoother.

  • 1 large (8-oz.) white onion (preferably sweet), peeled and quartered
  • 1 lb. cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into big chunks
  • 1 medium-size ripe avocado
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt (preferably whole-milk)
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin (preferably toasted and freshly ground)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the onion chunks in the food processor; pulse to chop finely. Scoop into a sieve, rinse under cold water, and set aside to drain. Put the cucumber chunks in the food processor; pulse to chop finely. Add the drained onion and pulse to combine. Set aside 3/4 cup of the cucumber-onion mix to stir into the soup at the end. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the pulp and drop it into the food processor with the remaining cucumber-onion mixture. Add the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt. Purée until fairly smooth. Using a sharp knife, slice the basil and mint leaves into shreds and then stir them into the soup along with the lemon juice, 1 cup cold water, and the reserved cucumber-onion mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for several hours. Before serving, check for consistency, gradually adding another 1/2 to 1 cup cold water to thin the soup if necessary. Add more lemon juice and salt if needed and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): 21; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 530; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a good variant on the cucumber/yogurt soup theme. The avocado adds depth. But I found the soup a bit bland. The use of basil and mint (rather than the usual dill) said 'Thai' to me, so I added sriracha sauce, fish sauce, palm (or brown) sugar, rice (or regular) vinegar, and a bit of freshly grated ginger. The flavors really popped and made the soup quite exciting. Those ingredients could be offered at the table, as condiments, in good Thai style (it's a really good lesson in balancing flavors). Now I'm thinking lime instead of lemon, a little coconut milk with the yogurt? Cooking should be an adventure, right?

This is an easy-to-make and delicious summer soup. It is actually fun to make because you are working with so many fresh, aromatic ingredients. This is a very refreshing and delicious soup. The combination of basil, cumin and mint blend beautifully with the avocado, onion, cucumber and yogurt. This is a winner!

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