It’s been super hot in Santa Fe lately — I’m talking 90 degree days and no A/C — so I do what I can to keep cool. A good fan helps. So does iced jasmine green tea. And cold soups. Lots and lots of cold soups.
I’ve made so much gazpacho and salmorejo, my two favorite cold Spanish soups, I decided to take a break from the red. Sometimes this is how a new recipe starts with me. I’m craving a different texture or color, and I build a recipe from there.
In this case, I knew I wanted green, and to do something with cucumbers and buttermilk, and zucchini, too. I searched around and found all sorts of recipes and this one is a bit of a mash-up of my three-ingredient beginning and a whole bunch of others. It’s kind of like a green gazpacho, but with a distinct cucumber vibe.
Which totally helps cool me down while I’m waiting for the sun to set behind the mountains. Not sure what my next cold soup’s gonna be, but I stopped at the farmer’s stand on Cerrillos the other day and couldn’t help myself — I bought two pounds of tomatoes, just like that, without even thinking about what I’d do with them. No-Cook Tomato Sauce on a homemade pizza? I just might.
Cold Cucumber + Zucchini Soup
Makes 4 servings
1 large cucumber
a small handful cilantro
8 mint leaves
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
sea salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup crushed pistachios for serving
Peel and remove the seeds of the cucumber. Roughly chop and put into the blender.
Chop the zucchini and add to the blender, too. Same with the shallot.
Add the jalapeño, cilantro, mint, buttermilk, Champagne vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Chill completely in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours. Serve with pistachios and a swirl of olive oil.