Cool Cucumber Minted Yogurt Soup with Apricots and Toasted Walnuts
- ¼ cup fresh mint, cleaned
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, cleaned
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 17.6 ounces greek style yogurt, one container
- 1 ½ cups low fat buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups cucumbers, lightly peeled and seeded (see note)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, (see note)
- ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup cucumbers, 1/4 " dice
- 1 medium fresh apricot, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons herbal oil (recipe below)
Place mint, parsley, 1/2 t. sea salt and olive oil in a blender. Add the yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic and jalapeno. Process until smooth. Chop 2 cups of cucumbers coarsely, add them to a large bowl
with 1/2 t. salt and cover with very hot water. Let stand 1 minute - drain and add to the yogurt
mixture. Pulse until smooth, but with a little texture. Add the walnuts (see note) and dried apricots, pulse until chopped.
Chill the soup a few hours or overnight. Taste for seasonings.
Top with 1 cup diced cucumbers, the fresh diced apricots and swirl in some herbal oil.
The flavor of the soup enhances in the refrigerator: make a few hours ahead, keeps for 2 -3 days.
Look for cucumbers at a farmers' market in summer - they have superior flavor.
Toast the walnuts in a small dry skillet over moderate heat 1 minute, until fragrant and toasted, but not colored, cool.
Herbal Oil: Blanch a half cup of fresh green herbs of you liking - mint, parsley, thyme, chives... and refresh under cold water. Squeeze dry with paper towels. Place the herbs with 1/3 cup canola oil in a blender. Blend at high speed for 1 minute until bright green. Strain the oil, discarding the herb solids. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Refrigerate for up to one week in a clean glass container in the refrigerator.