I love how certain recipes and food take us right back to a certain memory from childhood. For me, this soup IS my childhood. I grew up in LA and the Summers are HOT......although, right now we're having a heat wave in Seattle that beats out the current temp in LA. Every Summer my mom would make this chilled cucumber soup. I remember helping squeeze the lemons and chop the fresh dill. We'd sneak spoonfuls as it chilled in the fridge. She served it for every summer party, Hollywood Bowl concert, bbq and it even made an appearance at the start of football season. Yep, my mom is fancy that way! While every other tailgate party had grilled hot dogs and burgers, we were eating chilled cucumber soup and poached salmon.
This is the perfect summer dinner when it's too hot to cook. And, yes, there is a little stove time, but you can make it the night before when the weather cools off. And then enjoy it the next day when the temps get toasty.
I love using chicken stock because it adds a richer flavor than vegetable stock. But if you want to make this vegetarian, vegetable stock will absolutely work!
WHAT KIND OF CUCUMBERS SHOULD YOU USE?
Honestly, the best ones are the ones growing in your garden. If that's not an option, I love English cucumbers because they don't have seeds and, personally, I've found they don't have the....ummmm....how do I say this politely?.....gas issue like other varieties.
CAN I USE VEGETABLE STOCK INSTEAD?
Yep, vegetable stock will absolutely work!
CAN I USE COCONUT MILK INSTEAD OF CREAM?
Because of the flavor, I wouldn't substitute coconut milk. If you need to use a dairy alternative, you could try unflavored almond milk. Let me know how it turns out!
DO I REALLY NEED TO PEEL THE CUCUMBERS?
Trust me, I hate any unnecessary steps in a recipe, but this is a step you really do need to do. The peel of a cucumber can be pretty bitter, so peeling it removes the bitterness so you'll have a lovely smooth flavored cucumber soup.