I recently went away on vacation and returned home to a garden grown to such heights it resembles a rainforest. Amidst the wave of spaghetti squash tendrils and stalks of majestic purple amaranth, I have been blessed/cursed with a plethora of six varieties of cucumber. I can’t express my joy enough: some hungry critter, who obviously loved cucumber as much as I do, dug up and ate all but two seeds of my first crop. I was forced to plant a second crop so late that I was honestly doubting I would get many fruits, if anything, at all this year.
Being around 96% water, cucumbers are extremely hydrating and are great for ridding toxins from the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties, aid in elimination, and are soothing for the skin. This delicious, chilled summer soup is so refreshing on a hot day. It is also an ideal way to use any cucumbers from your harvest that may be a little on the large side to eat whole. To make the soup more of a complete meal, top it with chilled, cooked shrimp or crab meat. For optimal results, be sure to blend the ingredients at least 4–6 hours in advance to let the flavors blend.
4 heaping cups, peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (with skin on if you prefer. I save mine and add to a smoothie)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water, buttermilk, or broth
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons crumbled feta
Cucumber slices and cracked pepper, to garnish
Place all ingredients in blender, and puree until smooth. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours. Pour into bowls or tall glasses to serve. Top each serving with crumbled feta, cucumber slices, and cracked pepper.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical- and hormone-free meat
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products