Chilled Cucumber, Yoghurt and Horseradish Soup
This recipe reminds me of lazy hot summer days. It’s refreshing and thirst-quenching. It’s also dead simple to make as it requires no cooking whatsoever, just a bit of chopping, chilling and a bit of time (not the herb!), so it can be rustled up quickly. Once made, the soup is then left to marinate in the fridge for several hours before serving. It’s an excellent choice as it requires minimum effort to make, but delivers maximum flavour and appeal. Serve it in chilled cups, glasses or bowls, or alternatively try serving it as a chilled sauce with pan-fried mackerel or poached salmon.
I add a touch of creamed horseradish to this recipe, which I use as a seasoning to accentuate the freshness of the cucumber. If you have fresh horseradish to hand, then use double the amount for a good flavour.
I absolutely adore fresh herbs and they are such integral and important ingredients in my cooking. The use of herbs can change the taste of a dish instantly and in this recipe the combination of oregano, tarragon and dill is wonderful.
I used one of my favourite kitchen gadgets to make the cucumber spaghetti garnish for this soup. This Japanese Vegetable Spiralizer is great fun to have in your kitchen cupboard as the results are stunning and your friends will think you have gone to a lot of trouble and effort to make something rather special. I would definitely recommend giving it a go!
For the soup
- 500g large cucumbers
- 25g fresh oregano, chopped
- 25g fresh tarragon, chopped
- 25g fresh dill, chopped
- 500ml cold vegetable stock
- 125ml full-fat Greek yoghurt
- 50g creamed horseradish
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
To garnish and serve
- 1 cucumber
- about 150ml full-fat Greek yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons good-quality olive oil
- fresh oregano leaves
First prepare the soup. Wash and finely slice the cucumbers (leave the skin on), then place in a large container along with the rest of the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to mix well, then cover and leave to rest in the fridge for around 6–8 hours and no more than 12 hours (if left for longer it will ferment).
Blend the soup in a high-speed blender and then pass it through a fine sieve, discarding any solids left. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then chill in a covered bowl set over ice in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving (see Cook’s Notes).
For the garnish, make cucumber spaghetti using the Japanese Vegetable Spiralizer (see Cook’s Notes). Simply insert the cucumber in the spiralizer and turn the handle – the spaghetti will come out at the other end. Place the cucumber spirals in a bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.
To serve, pour the chilled soup into chilled serving bowls, cups or glasses, then garnish with the seasoned cucumber spaghetti, small dollops of yoghurt and a small splash of olive oil per serving, then scatter over the oregano leaves. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread.
Serves 6–8 as a starter or light lunch
Once blended and chilled over ice, the soup is best eaten on the day it is made, but it will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you do not have a Japanese Vegetable Spiralizer, simply slice the cucumber as thinly as possible with a cook’s knife and then julienne finely.