Spa Day Chilled Cucumber and Zucchini Soup
By Holly Parker
I’m not typically a fan of what I call “spa foods” - a unique subset of plant-based dishes that are generally served cold, often all or mostly raw, and heavy on the cucumber - so my expectations were low when Greg proposed this chilled soup. I was, however, craving something fresh and green, so I acquiesced. Thank goodness I did. His final creation is bright and utterly satisfying. With the sharp base, the creamy almond yogurt, and the crunch of fresh cucumber and toasted cashews, it’s a perfect combination of flavor and textures.
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Chilled Cucumber and Zucchini Soup
- 1 almond yogurt (5.3 oz)
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 zucchini
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1 small shallot (or half a large)
- 2 cucumber
- 3 Tbsp fresh dill fronds
- 1 ½ tsp agave
- 1 ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp pepper, plus more to taste
- ¼ cup roasted and salted cashews
Empty almond yogurt into a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth (or paper towel or coffee filter in a pinch), and allow to drain for at least 10 minutes. Zest lemon and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Mince garlic and add to pan. Saute until soft and aromatic.
Roughly chop zucchini, jalapeno, shallot, and all but half a cucumber, and place in blender. Add three quarters of the sauteed garlic, juice of half the lemon, and 2 Tbsp dill fronds, and puree until smooth. Add agave, 1 Tbsp of the drained almond yogurt, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined. Strain through a clean fine mesh strainer.
Finely dice remaining half cucumber. Combine with drained almond yogurt, juice of half a lemon, remaining garlic and dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
Roughly chop cashews and toast over medium heat, about 3 minutes.
Serve soup cold, generously topped with cashews, cucumber and yogurt mixture, lemon zest, and a drizzle of olive oil.