Cool Cucumber Soup
- Two 14 to 16 ounce English (seedless) cucumbers
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 small scallion, trimmed and chopped
- 2 cups buttermilk or 1 cup milk plus 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- Large pinch cayenne pepper plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (optional)
Peel the cucumbers, trim the ends, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the watery area where seeds would be. Coarsely chop. Crush the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a paste with the side of a chef's knife. Combine the cucumber, garlic, remaining salt, and the buttermilk in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add half of each of the herbs and the cayenne and pulse several times to combine. Transfer soup to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled. Before serving, season with salt, pepper, and lemon if desired. Divide among 4 soup bowls and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Serve.
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