Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cucumber Soup

I don't know why I do the things I do sometimes. For example, I do not like cucumber. There has never been a point in my life where I have enjoyed eating a cucumber, in any form; yet when I decided I wanted to make soup, I couldn't shake the urge for cucumber. Typically cucumber soup is served cold (another thing I do not like in the least bit: cold soup), but I thought doing a roasted spiced soup would be perfect for the rainy weather we've been having here in New Jersey.

Cucumber is fresh and light, which reminds me of the spring I'm hoping will come very soon. The vibrant green is cheery, and unlike the sodium-filled soup you buy at the store, this has no salt. I repeat. No. Salt. Something about the smoothness of the avocado, cream from the greek yogurt, and that pinch of spice gives this soup all the flavor it needs. I don't know how, but I took something I found rather dull and flavorless and made it.... really damn good!

You can make the whole batch (sans yogurt), freeze it, and add the yogurt last minute for a long-lasting soup you won't get sick of. If you're feeling sniffly and wishing for sunny weather (like me) then I think you'll enjoy it too. :)

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cucumber Soup
Makes: 12 servings  Prep: 15 minutes  Total: 1 hour

4 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup, 1 tbs olive oil (divided)
2 tbs honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 tbs coarse ground pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 avocado
2 tbs parsley, plus more for garnish
1 cup plain greek yogurt

Lay peeled and sliced cucumbers in a baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, honey, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Pour over cucumbers and toss to cover. Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
Saute onion in 1 tbs olive oil for 3-4 minutes until soft. Sprinkle with pepper and cook for another minute. Add vegetable broth and cook on medium-high heat just below boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, add cooked cucumbers, broth, avocado and parsley. Process on high for 2 minutes. Add greek yogurt, garnish with parsley and serve. (If refrigerating or freezing, wait to add yogurt until just before serving.)


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