Monthly Archives: March 2011

What This Day Desires

I recently started going to hot yoga. I started with a 60 minute class, and it was definitely the sweatiest exercise in patience I had ever experienced, really freaking hot, legs shaking like a frightened cartoon character in the up-on-your-toes part of awkward pose. The next class, they rattled a little less, the back bends went a little deeper (emphasis on little), the mood soared a little higher. So far, so good. Today, I upped the ante by going to the more traditional 90 minute class. Sweating on my mat in the sunny room, I believed for a moment that it was summer, and I found myself craving the cool relief of fresh cucumber soup.

I thought the craving might dissipate when it was no longer 105°, but I stepped outside to find the sun shining bright. Now, I am aware that 62° is not quite summer heat, but the sunshine and breezes are just plain singing of spring today, and supermarket cucumbers and mint felt like a much needed splash of brightness to contrast the steady haul of root vegetables and cabbage we have been getting in our winter CSA share. How many carrots can one girl and one boy eat? Apparently a lot, but I digress.

It is possible that the best thing about this soup is that I, a notorious dabbler and great loser of time in the kitchen (where does it go?) prepared this lunch for myself in under 3 minutes. For real. Here is how to make some nice cool soup for one.

Cool Cucumber Soup for 1

What Goes In:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • handful mint
  • 1 large English cucumber (or a couple of smaller ones with the seeds scooped out)
  • healthy grind of fresh black pepper
  • generous pinch of salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice if you’ve got it
  • big dollop of yogurt — probably 1/2 cup

How to do it:

  1. Give garlic and mint a quick spin in the food processor to grind them up.
  2. Add cucumber, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and any other spices you might desire. I added a pinch of turmeric. Fresh dill would be perfect. Whizz and whirl to blend a bit.
  3. Add yogurt. Pulse just a little bit.

Making this into three steps feels like a stretch. Seriously? 3 minutes, and I even chopped my cucumber up for some reason. You don’t have to do that. I like my soup chunky, but if you want it perfectly smooth, I’d suggest peeling the cucumber and blending it with a little bit of olive oil to thicken it up and smooth it out before you add the yogurt.

Pour it into a bowl. If you’re feeling fancy and want to treat yourself nice, top with a sliver of lemon and a little bouquet of mint. Even though you’re just going to mash it all into your soup a minute later, it’s nice to have a bowl that’s a little bit pretty to greet and meet the pretty day. Happy spring, you guys!