22 August 2011

A refreshing summer soup

Soups take a very important role on the portuguese diet. Tradicionaly every meal begins with one and usually that means a vegetable soup. Ocasonaly it can also be a chicken or a fish stock based soup.

This is one of the reasons why the mediterranean diets are amongst the most healthy in the world. Unfortunatly the stress of the modern life is causing the lost of very good habits, such as this one, and I'm affraid that the next generations won't grow as healthy as we did. Still, I hope it won't get to that, and that this growing conscience that we need to take care of our bodies will change the habits of the coming generations.

When we got married, we made a pact to live an healthier life. Step by step we will make our journey to live a long, and quality, life with each other and the family we are creating. The obvious way is to start with what we eat. Cooking is no stress, nor sacrifice for me, on the contrary, thats a job I gladly take at home and everywhere. So, we're of to a good start, or so we hope. Soup is one thing we really love (no sacrifice here either), and we have the fortune to have acess to home grown veggies the hubby's mom (that in law thing sounds so bad..) grows at her kitchen garden. Yay!

We are really fans of a spanish cold soup caled gazpacho that is basically raw veggetable soup, we love it when the weather get's hot. I've been searching for other cold soups, with an acidic bite like that, but I find it hard to fall for a cold soup. I came across a recipe of a cucumber soup when the kitchen garden provided more cucumbers in a week than we could ever eat in salads, and I whent recipe search. Its diferent than gazpacho, as it is a cooked soup, but the iogurt gives it that acitity that totally brings a cold soup to life. We loved it, don't know if you will... but give it a try and tell me what you think! Here's my adapted version:

Cucumber Soup

2 cucumbers
2 medium potatoes 
1 zucchini
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
1,2 l of water
1 yogurt (120g)
olive oil

Peel the the cucumbers, the potatoes, the onions and the garlic cloves. Remember to wash the vegetables several times. Cut a few slices of cucumber and set aside. Cut the ends of the zucchini (do not peel it) and chop all vegetables in small pieces. Take the them to cook in salted water over medium heat. Once everything is cooked remove the soup from the heat, reduce it to a puree and strain it through a sieve. Ahust the salt and season with pepper and two table spoons of olive oil. Set aside in refrigerator until very cold.

To serve transfer the yogurt to a bowl with one table spoon of soup and mix well with a fork. Wrap it in the soup and serve each plate with some pieces of the reserved slices of cucumber. Enjoy your healthy meal!

photo by me
recipe adapted from here

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