Chilled Cucumber Soup

If you want to beat the heat this summer, try this smooth cool cucumber soup.  It makes a great starter.

My husband's aunt, Maria, serves this soup to us often when we visit her in Denver.  I have asked her about the  ingredients several times, but hadn't been able to duplicate her recipe.  So, using this great new search engine for specifically for recipes, I searched the Net for something similar.  Nothing quite fit the bill, but by combining the two closest recipes I made a good approximation of Maria's soup.

Incidentally, there are those who salt their cucumbers (to reduce bitterness) before making them into soup and those that don't.  I fall into the second camp.  The way I figure it, if your cucumbers have a bitter taste, you probably shouldn't be using them to make soup!

Chilled Cucumber Soup
Serves 6 as a starter
Adapted from Gluten Free Girl and Global Table Adventure 

2 large cucumbers, peeled
2 Tblsp champagne vinegar (or another mild tasting, light colored vinegar)(avoid malt vinegar for a g-free version)
3 cups plain yogurt (at least 1% fat) (check for gluten ingredients)
2 Tblsp grapeseed or olive oil
1 Tblsp fresh dill, minced
1 Tblsp fresh chives, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced (if you don't like a little bite to the soup, you can skip the raw garlic)
1/4 cup ice water (optional, depending on desired thickness)

Cut the cucumbers into chunks.  In a blender combine the cucumbers, vinegar, yogurt, oil, dill, chives, salt, pepper, garlic powder and garlic.  Puree until the soup is very smooth and the ingredients are well combined.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Check the consistency.  To thin the soup, add some of the ice water.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.  Serve chilled.  This soup tastes even better the next day, so you can make it ahead.