I love cucumbers! I’ve been known to peel a cucumber, slice it up and eat it while watching TV in the evening. It’s my ultimate healthy snack. Nothing else needed. I also love to slice them up in any kind of sandwich, where they can take the place of lettuce or spinach. They’re just the best vegetable to have around for so many recipes.
I’ve used cucumbers to make a watermelon salad and with turkey in turkey salad sandwiches. I’ve also hollowed out cucumber halves to make tuna boats. But my absolute favorite way to eat cucumbers is in what I call “cucumber soup”. It’s simply peeled and sliced cucumbers in a container, add milk, white vinegar, a pinch of garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
The vinegar makes the milk curdle a bit so it thickens up and coats the cucumbers in a almost buttermilk tasting way. We scoop the cucumbers out of the liquid and eat them in a bowl on the side at meals, then add more sliced cucumbers to the container and pop it back in the fridge. I can keep my “soup” going for about a week, adding and eating as we go.
It’s really not much of a recipe, it’s more a “to taste” kind of thing where I add more salt if needed, a glug more milk or vinegar, etc. The cucumber slices tend to absorb the salt from the liquid so it is necessary to add more salt from time to time. And I wouldn’t go more than a week on the soup because in adding cucumbers, the salt leeches out water from the cucumbers and eventually it is quite watery. It is best to start with a fresh milk and vinegar mixture at that point.
My P.S. (Princely Spouse) often suggests I leave the peel on the cucumbers, but that’s a play it by ear thing as well. Sometimes the skins are tough, or are obviously waxed (you can feel that with your fingers, it’s kind of waxy, slimy) and we wouldn’t want to eat that wax. But if they’re garden grown or locally grown sometimes the peels are fine to leave intact, or cut into strips and removed for a more festive look.
I sometimes sprinkle the servings of cucumbers with chopped green onions. Chopped shallots would work nice as well. Or a sprinkling of onion powder into the soup liquid also is handy for a change of flavors.
When I can find it, fresh dill is a definite treat to flavor the soup. Often I just cheat and use dried dill. Winter in the North is brutal on produce prices and it’s crazy to pay $5 or more for a small twig of fresh dill. Even other times of the year it can be ridiculously costly here. I’ve had gardens where I couldn’t kill the dill, it took over everywhere. I shake my head in the grocery store and wonder why dill isn’t free. It is truly a weed.
Adding a bit of sour cream in the soup makes it a little more creamy and zesty if you wish. Or some Greek yogurt would add the same creaminess. One last suggestion: grate some lemon peel into the mixture for a fresh shot of flavor. It works well with the flavors of the soup. I also usually garnish with some chopped green onions.
I would suggest using whole milk in the soup but 2% milk has also worked fine for me. I’ve not tried soy milk since the chemical properties probably wouldn’t allow it to thicken with the addition of the vinegar. I’m mildly lactose intolerant but I can handle the little bit of milk that is in the cucumbers so I haven’t experimented with other types of milk.
Creamy Cucumber Soup
1-2 large cucumbers
1 cup milk
¼ cup white vinegar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh or dried dillweed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Peel and slice cucumbers and place in storage container. Add rest of ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate overnight. Serve in side bowls, removing slices from container with a slotted spoon. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
Add more slices of cucumber to the container and refrigerate again. May be kept going for about a week.