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July 10, 2002

Cold soup
Posted by Teresa at 09:14 AM *

This one’s for Patrick, who just sent me a link to this filk, written by a Clarion student. Patrick says it’s all too true.

Come home, dear.

Cold potato-cucumber soup

1-2 quarts whole buttermilk
1-2 pints small red potatoes
2 large cucumbers
1 clove of garlic
1 generous bunch green onions
fresh dill (optional)
salt, black pepper, white pepper, ground hot red pepper

Scrub the potatoes and start them cooking. I microwave mine.

Peel the cucumbers unless they’re the non-peeling kind, in which case just wash them well. Cut them in halves or quarters lengthwise, then slice them reasonably finely. If you have a food processor, just run ‘em through. Put them in a bowl, sprinkle them with a little salt, and leave them to bleed.

Clean and chop the green onions. Use the white and the green parts. You can throw them in with the cucumber slices if it’s convenient.

When the potatoes are done, get them to cool down, then dice them as best you can. Ideally, they should be tender and sticky. If you’ve cooled them down by throwing them into a pot of cold water, they may be a tad wetter than you want. Blot them on some folded paper towels. In a pinch, you can adjust the soup’s liquidity by withholding some of the juice from the cucumbers.

Drain the cucumbers, reserving the liquid. Put them into a large bowl along with the onions and the diced potatoes. Start adding buttermilk, stirring, until you achieve the desired consistency. If you want it lighter, you can add the cucumber juice too.

Put one (1) medium-to-large garlic nubbin through a garlic press and add it to the soup. If you’re having fresh dill, add about a tablespoonful of it chopped.

Season with salt and pepper and pepper and pepper to taste. Ideally, you should now cover the soup and let it sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. In practice, we always wind up eating about two-thirds of it as soon as it’s mixed, then notice how good the leftovers taste next morning.

Makes however much you make. Volume is likely to reflect the volume of the ingredients you put into it. Serving sizes are your call.

Notes: Be generous with the white and black pepper, but parsimionious with the red pepper and the garlic. The latter two can get startlingly strong after they’ve soaked for a while in the buttermilk. You can go a little heavier than indicated on the dill if you’re fond of it, but don’t go overboard. Above all, don’t under-salt this. Buttermilk is sold unsalted for baking, but it needs salt in order to be palatable. If you’ve hitherto found it unappealing, that may have been your problem.

It’s okay to use reduced-fat buttermilk if that’s all they carry at your store, though it won’t taste as good. Fat-free buttermilk will taste thin. If that’s your only option, add about 25% more veggies so you won’t notice it as much.

Comments on Cold soup:
#1 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 09:59 AM:

I remember Owen Hall food. I never got food poisoning, but I did have one memorable encounter involving a vanilla milkshake. The shake itself was actually pretty good--they put real milk and ice cream into a blender. But when the grill zombie went to put the shake into a paper cup, she grabbed a small cup instead of a big one. Much to her surprise she wasn't able to fit the entire shake into the cup. I have never seen a human being appear more bewildered than she was at that moment. It took a while, but eventually she worked out what to do about it:

"Did you want the whole shake?"

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 03:56 PM:

What did you say? Did you keep a straight face?

#3 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 05:03 PM:

For a somewhat boggled value of "yes", yes, I did. Once I'd thwarted her initial plan, she wandered off and eventually got the idea of pouring the rest of the shake into another cup. It took a while, though.

#4 ::: Derek James ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2002, 04:42 PM:

My favorite from the Owen Hall Cafeteria was a little treat they called "Chicken Picasso". Basically, they scraped the tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni from the leftover pizza from the day before and slapped it on top of frozen chicken breasts.

Yum.

(BTW, Clarion 2K).

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