Chilled cucumber and almond soup with curry spices
- April 2015
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 30 minutes, plus cooling and chilling
This recipe for chilled soup has been adapted from Constance Spry’s cookbook, written in 1956, to include fresh cucumber and toasted spices.
- 62.9g (7.2g saturated)
- 12.2g (3.7g sugars)
For 6 servings
- 1½ tbsp cumin seeds
- 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
- 1½ tsp green cardamom seeds (from 8-10 pods)
- 250ml olive oil
- 4 shallots, finely sliced
- Large pinch ground turmeric
- Large pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 slices day-old rustic white bread
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
- 200g ground almonds
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- Juice 1-2 lemons
- Natural yogurt to serve
For the herb oil
- 50ml each rapeseed oil and olive oil
- Handful each fresh coriander, basil and mint, finely chopped
- Lemon juice to taste
- Toast the spice seeds in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, shaking so they don’t burn. Cool, then grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
- Heat 50ml of the olive oil in a pan and add the shallots. Fry gently for 10 minutes without colouring, then add the ground spice seeds, turmeric and cayenne. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, then tip onto a plate to cool. Meanwhile, soak the bread in 300ml cold water for 15 minutes.
- Whizz the cucumber in a blender or food processor. Add the almonds, soaked bread and soaking water, garlic, lemon juice, cooled shallots, a pinch of salt and the remaining 200ml oil, then whizz until smooth (see tip). Taste and season, then chill for at least 3 hours.
- For the herb oil, whizz the oils, herbs and lemon juice until blended. Season to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, swirl in some yogurt, then drizzle over a little herb oil.
If you’re making this in a blender, you may need to add some water with the cucumber, depending on how juicy it is.
Make the soup up to 24 hours ahead and keep it chilled until ready to serve (stir first). If it’s too thick, thin with a splash of water before serving.
Make the herb oil just before serving so it retains its vibrancy.
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