Chilled Cucumber Soup & homemade refrigerator pickles

Here is what we received this week from Plato’s Harvest Organic Farm

Is this not a beautiful rainbow of goodies??? Does it get any better? I think not!

Here is an easy-peasy way to whip up a chilled soup for those lazy hazy dog days of summer..

my super-loyal pup, Fenway on her birthday

6 good-sized cucumbers ( or 8 smaller ones) ; peeled & seeded & roughly chopped
1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped ( it gives just a hint of heat, if you don’t like that then only use half)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed
1 cups of plain Greek yogurt (you should be buying this stuff all the time)
3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon each, cilantro, dill , mint & chives
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
zest of 1 lemon

salt & pepper
chicken stock

Add all ingredients to a blender &  ( yup.. toss them all in there together!) process until smooth. Add enough chicken stock to be a medium-thickness consistency. ( I used about 3/4 cup) Season with salt & pepper.

Chill for at least 2 hours so that flavors can meld together. Serve garnished with chopped chives & a sprinkle of lemon zest.

Ahh!! refreshingly delicious! ( and quite healthy, too!)

Now… with an abundance of cukes, I decided to try to make Rachael Ray’s Quick Refrigerator pickles

here is what you need to gather

oh, and a Mason jar 🙂  There is something about Mason jars that I just love.. I store my sauces, my herbs, my soups.. I just love them 🙂

I made a few variations to her recipe (don’t I always?)

Her ‘eyeball’ of 1/2 cup vinegar was not nearly enough.. maybe my super-awesome Mason jar was too big, but I needed about 1/3 cup more vinegar.

I also chopped the garlic and didn’t add it to the vinegar mixture until I was about top turn off the heat from the mixture. I really don’t like the taste of over-cooked garlic.. By adding it at the last minute, the sharp garlic flavor was able to mellow without any trace of bitterness.

I also cut my cukes into rounds rather than angles. I’m a rebel like that 🙂

The last change that I made was adding some whole black peppercorns. I’m a pepper fanatic, so the thought of my pickles a-marinating without pepper brought me to tears. *snif*

I ran the jar under warm water before I added the cucumbers and the halfway cooled liquid just so the there wasn’t any issue with the pouring hot into cold & glass breaking nightmare.

These came out really good. I recommend letting them sit overnight in the fridge before eating them.. it took that long for the flavors to come together  in that perfect sweet/ sour flavor.

And as fast as I typed this blog, my zucchini in my garden has grown another 4 inches…..  it’s pure magic!


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