When the temperature starts to rise outside, the last thing you probably want to eat is a heavy, hot soup.
This refreshing, cucumber-based chilled soup is what you should be making instead—it's low in calories, high in vegetable content and protein, and should be garnished with either smoked trout or salmon (giving you a healthy dose of those good-for-you fats). The cucumber is the star of this dish, but you can top it with just about whatever you want, including anything from hard-boiled eggs, diced tomatoes, or fresh cilantro and mint.
This recipe comes courtesy of chef Daniel Boulud, the Michelin-starred head chef of Daniel in New York City and several other restaurants around the world.
In a pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Plunge the cucumber slices into the boiling water for 2 minutes.
Drain and chill the cucumber slices under cold running water. Squeeze out excess water by pressing the cucumber slices in a colander with the palm of your hand.
Put the cucumber slices in a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, cilantro, yogurt, and half of the chicken stock. Blend and add more chicken stock until the soup has a slightly thick consistency.
Add the Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the soup into a bowl and chill it for 20 minutes in the freezer or refrigerate until needed.
For the presentation, chill the soup bowls in the freezer 5 minutes before serving. Divide the chives and mint evenly among the bowls. Ladle in the ice-cold soup, or pour the soup into a tureen and sprinkle the garnishes on top.