Cool Hand Cuke

A creamy chilled soup for summer
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Working from their kitchen-studio in Lambertville, N.J., Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton have been quietly innovating food publishing. The media-savvy pair--Hirsheimer was a founder of Saveur magazine and Hamilton worked for Cook's Illustrated--create and publish Canal House Cooking, a thrice-yearly magazine-book hybrid replete with lush food photos and home-tested recipes. This refreshing chilled soup (from their latest edition) combines rich avocados with crisp cucumbers. It's an ideal dinner for a hot summer night, as it requires no cooking and can be prepped in just a few minutes.

Cold Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Recipe adapted from Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 4

Yield: 4 Servings


3 ripe, unblemished avocados

1 English cucumber, unpeeled, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)

2 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 cups chicken stock

¼ teaspoon salt

Sour cream, for serving

Hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), for serving


1. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, working around the pit. Twist to separate the halves. Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.

2. Add the avocados, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and chicken stock to a blender and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Season with salt and refrigerate until the soup is well chilled.

3. Divide the soup among 4 chilled bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of hot pepper sauce and serve.

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