Nothing is quite as refreshing as a big bowl of gazpacho and a tall glass of rosé enjoyed on a hot August evening. But there’s something extra revitalizing about lifestyle guru Danny Seo’s Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup … the secret? Tea leaves!
In his new cookbook Naturally, Delicious: 100 Recipes for Healthy Eats That Make You Happy ($20; amazon.com), Seo teaches home cooks how to make the perfect summer soup using an uncommon yet simple technique. “This one’s a winner because it utilizes the fresh, bright, palate-cleansing properties of mint in an understated way,” writes Seo. “It’s a bright note in a recipe where the cucumbers and silken tofu take prominence. Some toasted spelt bread with a smear of ricotta cheese turns this soup into dinner.” To save time, make the mint tea ahead and keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use. Check out the full recipe below.
Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup
1 cup water
6 mint tea bags
4 English cucumbers
1 garlic clove, left whole
1 cup silken tofu
1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
4 scallions, green and white parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus 8 large fresh mint leaves sliced into thin ribbons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat off and add the tea bags. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Cool the tea and refrigerate.
2. Thinly slice half of one cucumber; set aside. Cut the remaining 3 1/2 cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds from the cucumber halves and discard. Cut 7 1/2 of the cucumber halves into large chunks; cut the remaining piece into small cubes and reserve for the garnish.
3. In a blender, combine the cucumber chunks, the garlic, tofu, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and chilled mint tea. Puree until smooth. Add the scallions, 1/4 cup mint leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree, then taste and season with remaining lemon juice, if desired.
4. Serve the soup garnished with the sliced cucumber and the mint ribbons.
Reprinted from Naturally, Delicious by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Danny Seo Media Ventures