|MIDDLE EASTERN CUCUMBER-YOGURT SOUP
Serves: 4 to 6
Here's an exceptionally easy no-cook soup from the Middle East. Enjoy it with barley added, as suggested in the variation below.
2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 pint (2 cups) plain low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs
(such as dill, parsley, and mint), or more
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, rice milk, or soymilk, or as needed
1 teaspoon natural granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
Grate the cucumbers on a coarse grater, then place them in a colander. Place the colander over the container in which you will serve the soup. Salt the grated cucumbers lightly and let stand for 30 minutes (the juice from the cucumbers will drain into the container and the cucumbers themselves will become pleasantly crisp).
Place the cucumbers in the container with the cucumber juice. Stir in the yogurt, herbs, and enough milk to give a slightly thick consistency. Stir in the sugar and seasonings, then add the optional lemon juice if you'd like an extra tangy flavor. Serve at once or refrigerate until needed.
Variation: For a heartier version of this soup, add a cup or so of cold, cooked barley.