Cold Cucumber Cream With Tomato Salsa

Serves 4.

Note: The "cream" in this recipe is a misnomer: There's no dairy in this simple cold soup, but the cucumber lends an almost creamy mouthfeel. The salsa adds crunch and a punch of flavor to the cool mildness of the soup. The soup needs to chill for about 2 hours before serving. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Adapted from "The Italian Vegetable Cookbook," by Michele Scicolone.

2 1/2 lb. cucumbers (6 to 8 large or 16 to 20 Kirbys), peeled

• 3 green onions, trimmed

• 1 1/2 c. water

2 tsp. white wine vinegar, plus more as needed

• 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more as needed

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

• 1 medium tomato

• 1 tbsp. shredded fresh basil

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop out seeds; discard the seeds. Cut enough of the cucumbers into 1/2-inch dice to yield 1/2 cup. Cover and refrigerate it for the salsa.

Cut the remaining cucumbers into 1-inch chunks. Chop 2 of the green onions.

Combine the larger cucumber chunks, chopped green onions, water, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor or blender; purée until smooth. Taste, and add vinegar, salt and/or pepper as needed. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Just before serving, cut the tomato in half through the stem end. Discard the core and squeeze the halves to discard some of the gel/seeds and juice. Cut the remaining tomato into 1/2-inch dice; transfer to a small bowl.

Thinly slice the remaining green onion and add to the bowl, along with the reserved, diced cucumber and the basil. Toss with the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Taste the soup again for seasoning (it will be more muted when cold), and add vinegar, salt or pepper as needed. Divide among chilled bowls, top each with some of the salsa, and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 70 Fat 4 g Sodium 340 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 8 g Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g