Cucumber-Wasabi Soup

From Chris Bryant: If I have a signature recipe my cucumber-wasabi soup is the one. It’s a crisp and quenching concoction that delivers a nice wasabi whoosh just as it passes your tongue. Right for a hot day. I’m famous for it among my friends and family, who all just call it ‘The Soup.” It has a story too.

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I came up with my recipe after wasting time on a very disappointing batch of “the classic” cucumber soup. The process involved sautéing cucumbers in butter (!), then adding flour and chicken stock and lots of heavy cream. All that got mashed through a chinois, the valuable bits sent to the compost. I had my doubts, but held out hope for a miraculous transformation in the fridge. Alas, no miracle. The soup was creamy, but all of its rich butterfat, being cold, sealed my taste buds. Fatal flaw was that the signature flavor—cucumber—was barely significant. The takeaway from the experience—cooking cucumbers is ill advised.

Time for a fresher plan. I love buttermilk and go through a lot of it, especially in summer. One of my favorite cold summer sides is cucumbers and onions marinated in buttermilk (with lots of salt and pepper). After dinner one evening, tossing back some leftover buttermilk marinade on the way to the kitchen, the spinning marbles in my head started dropping into the right slots. This salty cucumber buttermilk is the key to a fresh cucumber soup! Read More & Get Recipe