Cheryl Slocum Cheryl Slocum
June 04, 2014

It's Kirby cucumbers' earthy flavor that sets them apart from other grocery varieties—they just taste like the garden. The hearty meat stands up to a brine, but eaten fresh, they are a revelation: crisp, never watery, pure cucumber taste. And that bumpy-looking skin? It's totally tender. No need to peel; just slice and go. Mixed into a bold salsa (like pineapple-lime) or sprinkled with pungent za'atar, salt, and olive oil, their full-bodied flavor shines. By contrast, in our gazpacho Kirbys blend in for a beautifully chilled soup.

Cucumber Gazpacho with Toasted Rye CroutonsHands-on: 25 min. Total: 8 hr. 40 min.Need this soup right away? Do a rapid chill: Transfer soup to a zip-top plastic bag, and set bag in an ice bath for 30 minutes. 

  • 2 garlic cloves, divided
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Kirby cucumber (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups chopped green tomato (about 1 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil; divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 seedless rye bread slices, cubed (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced serrano chile
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)
1. Finely chop 1 garlic clove; place in an 11-cup food processor. Add cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through mint). Add 1 tablespoon oil, tarragon, and salt; process 1 minute or until almost smooth. (For smaller food processor bowls, work in 2 batches.)

2. Preheat oven to 450°.

3. Smash remaining garlic clove; place in a small bowl with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Microwave at HIGH for 15 seconds; let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle garlic oil over bread cubes; toss to coat. Place bread on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes or until browned, turning once. Stir chile into chilled soup. Add up to 1/2 cup water to thin soup, if desired. Ladle soup into bowl; top with croutons.

SERVES 6CALORIES 97; FAT 3.7g (sat 0.5g, mono 1.6g, poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 15g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 277mg; CALC 37mg

 

 

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