A chilled soup is a great beginning for a picnic. For foolproof transport, select a container with a tight-fitting lid that permits easy serving. Fill with the soup, cap tightly, place upright in an ice chest, and secure in place with bags of ice or cool packs. To serve, pour the soup into widemouthed glasses or cups so that guests can sip it.
- 3 English (hothouse) cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 cup Greek-style or other thick, whole-milk plain yogurt
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 3 green onions, including tender green portions, chopped
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup vegetable stock or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs. fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Coarsely chop 5 of the cucumber halves and transfer to a large bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, green onions, dill, garlic, caraway seeds, salt and white pepper. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Dice the remaining cucumber half and set aside until ready to serve.
In a blender, puree the cucumber mixture until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the stock and puree until it is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. (The soup can be prepared up to 12 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If it separates, simply stir it until emulsified.)
Just before serving, stir in the diced cucumber and olive oil. Pour the soup into widemouthed glasses or cups and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining with the Seasons (Free Press, 2010).