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Cold Cucumber-cilantro Soup with goat yogurt

Cold Cucumber-cilantro Soup with goat yogurt

Cilantro, mint, and toasted cumin seeds join together to perfume this refreshing summer soup, and a subversive bit of jalapeño adds a streak of heat under the cooling yogurt, just as in my favorite Indian raitas.
Thin-skinned Persian cucumbers can be used for this, but I prefer the type that needs peeling. If you can’t find a good goat yogurt, use plain cow’s-milk yogurt instead.

• • • serves 6 • • •

1½ lbs. (700 g) cucumbers
¾ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
3 cups (750 ml) whole goat yogurt
½ cup (30 g) packed cilantro leaves
½ cup (20 g) packed fresh mint leaves
2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp. minced fresh jalapeño
2 Tbs. (30 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
½ cup (120 ml) water
• • •
optional garnish: chopped unsalted pistachio nuts

Peel the cucumbers, quarter them lengthwise, cut out the seeds, and slice or dice them. You should have about 4 cups. Toss the cucumbers with the salt and leave them in a bowl for 15 minutes or so. Do not drain.
Add the yogurt to the cucumbers and their liquid, stir in the cilantro, mint, and cumin, and pulse everything in a blender a few times, in batches, or use an immersion blender. I prefer a chunkier texture for this soup, sort of half blended, but you can make it as smooth as you like. Add the minced jalapeño.
Season the soup with the lemon juice and a bit more salt if you like, and then stir in enough water to make a soup-like consistency; the soup should not be watery but should pour easily from a ladle. Chill the soup for several hours, and serve in chilled bowls.
Sprinkle a few chopped pistachios on top of each serving if you like.

Complementary Wines: Chardonnay, Chianti, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc

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