18 August 2009

Taking the Curcurbits for a Spin

Today I read an article (thanks to a fellow locavore's tweet) called "Zucchini and Corn Fritters Rule the World" in which The Crisper Whisperer, the newly appointed columnist on seriouseats.com explains vegetable world domination in the form of plentiful CSA produce. This charming tale conveys precisely what it feels like when you get such a daunting amount of one or another vegetable. But fear not; the author, Carolyn Cope, suggests that we can "wrest control from the arms of summer abundance."

For me, in the last few weeks, that abundance has been cucumber; one after the other in the CSA share. I eat a reasonable amount of delicious cucumber sandwiches, but the cukes keep coming and I begin to feel powerless.

So today, Christy was our Crisper Whisperer. She found a recipe for Cucumber Soup and slaved over a hot stove - er, uh, a fast blender - to make a perfect summer dinner tonight. With garlic, onion, sour cream, and broth, it's a much richer soup than one might think. And of course, this soup is served cold. Cool, you might say. Cool as a--well, you know.

Cucumber Soup, Toast, and Watermelon Water

To accompany our soup, Christy made something called toast. No, no, no. Not that kind of toast.
German "Toast," which refers to open faced sandwiches, cooked in the oven, and intended to be eaten with a knife and fork. Christy says you can use anything on these "toasts" - for ours tonight she used mustard, apple, tomato, onion, arugula, and cheese. They were like lovely sandwich pizzas, warm and light and perfectly paired with the soup. And in keeping with the theme of blended curcurbitaceae, we had Watermelon Water to drink.

And best of all, we're down to a much smaller army of cucumber in the fridge. Until the next pick up, that is...

Cold Cucumber Soup

4 cucumbers, unpared
1 lg. sour cream
1 med. onion
1 clove garlic
1 can vegetable broth
2 drops Worcestershire sauce
Dash lemon juice
1 tbsp. thyme & oregano
Generous handful fresh parsley, removing most of stems
Salt & pepper to taste

In blender/food processor, combine in small batches the cucumbers, garlic, onion, both soups and parsley. (Pre-chopping makes the first 3 ingredients blend better.) Pour into large bowl and add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, spices and sour cream. When all pureed, mix and taste. Adjust according to your palate. Chill before serving. Garnish with a few chopped chives, parsley, a slice of lemon, or a couple of the above. Keeps well. Yield: 2 quarts.

Watermelon Water (Agua de Sandía)
2 cups diced seedless watermelon, with rind removed
6 cups water
1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)

Place one cup diced watermelon in blender, along with two cups of the water. Blend until liquified. Pour into a pitcher. Place remaining cup of watermelon in blender, along with two more cups water. Blend thoroughly and pour into pitcher. Add remaining two cups of water and sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Chill thoroughly before serving. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses and serve.


kcimprovgeek said...

There were no cukes in my CSA pack this weeks, so I've got to pick some up at the Cafe tomorrow. Because...DAMN. This looks good.

kcimprovgeek said...
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karen's being bossy said...

mmmm cucumber soup. gonna make this soon. i have a white cucumber that a friend got me in weston last weekend. wonder if it would work?