Originally created 07/24/02

Keep your cool with a classic



Trying to figure out a way to stay "cool as a cucumber?" My chilled cucumber-yogurt soup will help beat the heat during summer's hottest month. Chilled cream of cucumber soup, often called cucumber vichyssoise, was a popular cold soup during the 1950s. The classic recipe not only required a good bit of planning, it was quite a bit more work than my pared-down version.

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The classic recipe begins with onions and leeks sauteed in butter, then peeled and diced potatoes are added. It is simmered in homemade chicken stock until tender. The vegetables are cooled and pureed in a blender with whipping cream and diced fresh cucumber, then chilled overnight.

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My version comes together in minutes, and requires little preparation. Simply place all of the ingredients in the refrigerator before leaving the house in the morning, and throw everything into the blender when you return home.

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I've used convenience products to make the soup a cinch to prepare. First, the base for the soup is a can of cream of potato soup. Second, homemade stock is replaced by a can of low-sodium chicken broth. The whipping cream is replaced by plain nonfat yogurt, giving the soup a nice, albeit subtle, tang. The only work required at the chopping board is peeling and dicing a cucumber.

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I like to use an English, or hothouse cucumber (the long cucumbers that come wrapped in plastic), but use any kind of cucumber you like. This time of year, the supermarket usually carries some wonderful pickling cucumbers (often called Kirby cucumbers), which also are a great choice.

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When all the ingredients are pureed in the blender, the result is a crisp, velvety cold soup. Just pour the soup into a pretty bowl and serve with your favorite sandwiches. I like to serve the soup with tuna salad finger sandwiches, for a retro soup-and-sandwich supper.

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CHILLED CUCUMBER YOGURT SOUP

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1 10.75-ounce can cream of potato soup

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1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

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1 8-ounce container nonfat plain yogurt

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2 cups peeled and diced cucumber, about 1 English cucumber or 2 Kirby cucumbers

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1 teaspoon garlic salt

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Ground black pepper, to taste

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Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Makes 8 servings.

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COMING JULY 31: Pasta with Tuna, White Beans and Tomatoes

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See Karin cook the recipe at noon Tuesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).

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BOOK SIGNING

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Karin Calloway will hold a cookbook signing for Quick Cooking With Karin Calloway from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books and Music.

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53 calories

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3 grams protein

8.1 grams carbohydrates

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0.6 gram fiber

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1 gram fat

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0.4 gram saturated fat

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2.8 milligrams cholesterol

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429 milligrams sodium

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Nutrient analysis provided by Fran Frye, a licensed and registered dietitian of the Augusta District Dietetic Association.

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