With temperatures pushing the mercury up to 39 in Paris this week and up to 29 in Liverpool, it is essential to keep cool by taking lots of refreshing drinks and eating iced soups and salads. I admit that I never ate iced soup at all when I lived in the UK (probably always too cold) but since coming here I have become quite an aficionado of ‘Gazpacho’ (see my ‘Gazpacho de melon, concombre et poivron jaune’) This is one of my stock recipes, and even better when I can make it with one of our home grown cucumbers and fresh mint from my window box. Just looking at this soup make you feel cool. It is light, refreshing and fragrant, and a lovely way to start a meal. Cucumbers are 95% water to an excellent way to replenish the body. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C and D as well as folic acid, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They are said to help to regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, and are a traditional remedy for gout (particularly when mixed with carrot juice). Their anti-inflammatory properties can help ease arthritis (and also reduce puffiness around the eye) And they can freshen breath and also help prevent a ‘hangover’ if eaten before bed after drinking too much Champagne!
serves 4 as a starter
2 medium cucumbers washed and with the very outer skin removed, but leaving a layer of the darker green flesh, cut in half and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon (these can be planted to have another crop next year!) 6-8 fresh mint leaves 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I use Oliviers & Co. olive oil with mint)
1 tablespoon of White wine vinegar (I use Maille vinaigre de Chardonnay – a bit pricey, but worth it)
1 tablespoon of crème fraiche
A pinch of salt to taste
Just simply chop the cucumbers and mint and mix together with all the other ingredients in a food processor I usually distribute the soup between individual dishes and a couple of ice cubes to each dish and leave in the fridge until ready to serve (at least 30 minutes) What could be simpler…..