I made this soup quite awhile back and it was delicious. I’m about to make it again since I have an abundance of peppers and cucumbers, and it’s perfect for this heat. This is a variation of a recipe I found in Bon Apetit since I needed a guideline as I’ve never cooked cucumbers before. I can’t recall how, but I started referring to it as “romantic cold soup.” Maybe it was the fact that I ate this on my hot date with my college BFF Amy Rose. Although we did not feed each other or link arms as we slurped our soup, I’d say we both enjoyed this immensely and both went back for more. Romantic? Sure.
To make a VERY long story short: Once upon a time during sophomore year of college, I almost set fire to my house as I was baking cookies. I was preheating the oven, mixing the dough, when I smelled smoke and the fire alarm went off. This happened in our sketchy oven a lot. I realized smoke was coming out of the oven. I called my mom, she told me to put baking soda on it. Ah of course. I poured baking soda everywhere and realized I could NOT find the source of the smoke. Flames started creeping out. They started to char the drawers. I called home. My dad answered the phone and said, “hang up. dial 9-1-1”. Crap. I called. I told them it was small, I was calm, and I simply couldn’t find the source of the fire. “Could you just send like 1 firefighter please?” Apparently that’s not how it works. A firetruck, an ambulance, and 8 minutes later, a firefighter stood before me with a drawer of flaming potholders asking, “is this your fire”? Yes sir.
Every time I use my broiler, I think of this very Amy Rose who at the time thought our broiler was a drawer for potholders. When you blacken your peppers for this soup, make sure there’s nothing flammable under the oven. I will always recall fondly the firefighter who sat and ate cookie dough with me that morning I was just trying to study for finals. I told this story last week to my friend, “The Firefighter”- I’m glad it still gets some chuckles.
Cold Cucumber Tomatillo Soup
2 poblano chilies
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped. If using a very seedy cucumber, cut out the seeds.
2 cups chicken broth +2 cups water (or veggie broth)
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk
optional toppings: yogurt, hot sauce, green onion, cilantro
Blacken poblano chilies in the broiler until black on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; cool 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saut e 5 minutes (until getting translucent). Add tomatillos and cucumber; saute until onion begins to brown, about 5 more minutes. Add broth and poblano chilies and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatillos are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in jalapenos, lime juice and cilantro. Using an handheld immersion blender (or if using a food processor, wait until cool and then work in batches), blend until pretty smooth. Transfer to large bowl; stir in milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill soup until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, chives, and yogurt. I also used a little hot sauce I had just made drizzled on top.