Runner’s Recipe: Tom’s Chilled Cucumber Soup

Late last week I got an e-mail from my mom. She mentioned that she and Dad had been out to dinner the other night, celebrating my dad’s birthday, and she’d ordered a chilled cucumber soup. It was served with a slice of lemon cucumber floating in it and was quite tasty. She was sure it was something that I should replicate and post on my blog. And because I am a wonderful daughter — so obedient and thoughtful and certainly never the type disregard instructions or fail in living up to expectations — I immediately grabbed a cookbook off the shelf and flipped to the index in search of the recipe that most nearly matched my mother’s description.

What I finally settled on may or may not meet my mother’s approval. A cool cucumber soup, yes. Smooth and light, yes. Full of mother-disapproved full-fat dairy products, yes. Sorry Mom, I had to do it. And for those of you who have a similar disdain for full-fat sour cream and whole milk greek yogurt, feel free to move on. But the rest of you, I found your simplest summer meal. Honestly. Take five minutes at the beginning of the day to chop up some cucumbers, blend them in a blender, then stick it in the fridge to chill, and you’ll be free to enjoy the rest of your day knowing that you’ve made a creamy, tasty, veggie-laden dish for dinner without even getting close to breaking a sweat.

Tom’s Chilled Cucumber Soup adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

If you are wondering, I don’t know who Tom is. Neither does Amanda Hesser, who compiled the cookbook.

serves 4

2 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 cup plain whole-milk greek yogurt

2/3 cup full fat sour cream

1 clove garlic, minced, crushed, or pressed (If you are in the habit, as I am, of doubling the garlic in every recipe, don’t do it here. I did and it ended up adding too much of a bite — though the boys didn’t complain about it.)

2 T. and 2 tsp. snipped fresh dill (I used dry since I couldn’t find any fresh. Fresh would probably be better.)

salt and pepper to taste

Place the cucumber, yogurt, sour cream, garlic in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth. Add 2 T. dill and salt and pepper to taste and mix. Place in the refrigerator to chill. When ready to serve, pour into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining dill. If you are feeling fancy, serve with a slice of cucumber floating on top.

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  1. Okay, I’m skeptical. But only because I am ALWAYS skeptical of cold soups. The thought of it kind of weirds me out, no clue why. I have never had cold cucumber soup (or a cold soup of any kind) and always skip over those recipes. So my question to you is on the scale of 1-10 how satisfying and good is this soup really? (Maybe it’s the “soup” part I don’t like. Maybe it should be called “chilled cucumber cream” and I wouldn’t be so turned off…?)


    lizzie Reply:

    Cold soups are a strange idea to me as well. This is the second I’ve done this summer, and the better one in my opinion. Micah liked it better than I did, and he would probably put it at a 8 or 9. I think I would put it at a 6 or 7. Unless I were to serve it with a decently hearty sandwich, and then it would be higher. Thinking of it as a cream rather than a soup would definitely make a difference to me since I tend to think of soups probably the same way you do — warm and filling. It’s hard to get my mind to accept something light and cool as a “soup.”


  2. “Adapting” means that you’ve essentially borrowed a recipe and made it your own by changing it based on your personal taste / creativity. All you’ve done here is ripped off a recipe.


    lizzie Reply:

    Hi Kay! Thanks for your input. I put “adapted” because I chose to omit the walnuts that were part of the original recipe, based on my personal taste/creativity. I also experimented with the amount of garlic, as noted.


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