|Raw almonds make this chilled cucumber soup creamy.|
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Sorry it's taken me so long to post this month but we've been busy harvesting 3.7 tons of organic Pinot Noir grapes in our vineyard here in Sebastopol, California. Sudden hot weather caused the sugar in the grapes to quickly spike and we had to scramble to get the grapes harvested. The sugar level dictates the percent alcohol in the wine and since we like our Pinot to be around 14% alcohol or under, we pick our grapes when they are around 24% sugar (Brix) or less.
Friends, family, and workers came to our rescue and we got it all done in three days. My brother and his wife happened to be visiting (thinking that they were here for a relaxing vacation) only to find themselves out in the field picking grapes. They enjoyed the experience and now have a story to tell back in Charleston, South Carolina.
Check out last year's post on how we make Pinot Noir.
|My brother Peter, harvesting grapes.|
|My sister-in-law Dianne busy at work.|
Back to Cucumber Soup
Before we roped Peter and Dianne into harvesting, we did some fun things. It was Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and we took them to a fabulous wine event at Fred MacMurry's Estate that featured 200 wineries and 60 local chefs.
One of the chefs made a delicious chilled cucumber soup. Since it was creamy I assumed it was made with dairy. (I always have to ask since I'm allergic.) But to my surprise, the cucumbers were blended with almonds (my favorite source of vitamin E). I didn't get the recipe but I have attempted to recreate the dish, especially since my garden is packed with cucumbers right now. My version is a bit thicker and instead of drizzling olive oil over the soup, I use cold-pressed hemp oil since it has more omega-3.
|Cucumbers in my garden|
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Creamy Garden Cucumber Soup
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes about 2 1/4 cups - 4 small servings]
Requires a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix
3 cups diced, peeled cucumbers with large seeds removed
1/4 cups raw almonds, soaked over night
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill plus some for garnish
1 1/4 teaspoon cold-pressed hemp oil
To prepare the cucumbers, peel and quarter lengthwise. If you have large seeds, remove them. Dice and measure 3 cups and place them in a high-speed blender.
Add the soaked almonds, lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and dill and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of water or non-dairy milk and blend until mixed. Chill until ready to serve.
To serve, place the soup in 4 small teacups or bowls and drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of hemp or olive oil over each bowl. Take a demitasse spoon or a toothpick and stir the oil into the soup. Garnish with a small piece of dill and serve.
Per serving: 77 calories, 6 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 170 mg omega-3 and 1,749 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 3 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, and 293 mg sodium.