Bread Bowls Beware

July 30, 2007 at 12:10 pm 18 comments

lemon-cucumbers.jpg 

I have a lot of brainstorms, many of which happen in (and wreck havoc on) my kitchen.  I tend to eyeball an object and contemplate how to transform it into something else, even if it’s perfect just the way it is.  By the way, I blame this trait on my mother, who can never just buy something at the store when she can “make that better and for less!”.  The dear woman collects an amazing assortment of bric-a-brac to that end, and somehow it’s always useful instead of just adding clutter to an overflowing “junk” drawer.   She’s got an eagle eye for creative reuses.

lemon-cucumbers-whole.jpg

With such genes in my pool, I stared long and hard at the lemon cucumber.  They’re just so odd.  And round.  As one gleeful customer at our Headhouse Farmers Market table on Sunday declared – “Looks like a lemon; tastes like a cucumber!”  I couldn’t just chop them up and make yet another tzatziki dip.  These funky spin-offs of the traditional variety are proving to be a top seller this season, and for good reasons.  Allow me to count the ways lemon cucumbers surpass the standard:
   1) They’re cute.
   2) They have a really crisp texture and last longer in the fridge.
   3) They add extra color to the typically green salad.
   4) They are a perfect serving size so you don’t have to put that half a
       cucumber wrapped in cellophane back into the crisper drawer.
   5) They make great bowls for soup! 

scooped-out-lemon-cucumbers-for-soup.jpg

Yep, you read that right.  My most recent culinary-related brainstorm (I’ll refrain from telling you about my most recent non-culinary one…) was to turn lemon cucumbers into hor’dourve-sized soup bowls.   And I have to say, I was quite tickled with the results. 

Once the “innards” are scooped out of the cucumbers, they hold about three tablespoons of soup and can stay in the fridge for up to a day.  My favorite part was that after I’d slurped (oh so lady-like am I) the soup out of the “bowl”, I got to eat down the sides that had soaked up the flavors of the soup.   If you’re not into the idea of eating your dishware, you can make the soup with just four lemon cucumbers, processing three and dicing one to add after the soup is smooth. 

  toasted-almonds.jpg   diced-lemon-cucumber.jpg

As a second “Oh my goodness, I’m a freakin’ genius!” moment, last night I spooned the leftover soup onto some just-drained pesto parmesan gnocchi and tossed in some fresh diced tomatoes.  Words can’t even begin to describe how delicious a combination this was.   So, um, yeah – soup or sauce, cucumber or china bowl, this is one heck of a wicked good brainstorm!

CUCUMBER ALMOND SOUP
Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Soups

6 larger lemon cucumbersthree-cucumber-soup-bowls.jpg
1 smaller lemon cucumber
4 garlic cloves
1/2 t. sea salt
3/4 c. toasted almond slivers
2 slices of stale bread, cut into rough pieces 
2 T. grape seed oil (or other mild oil)
1 1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. cold water
2 t. lemon juice
pinch of white pepper
1 large basil leaf (for garnish)
1 t. lemon zest (for garnish)

Thoroughly wash and dry cucumbers.  Slice a 1/4 inch off the top (stem side) of the 6 larger cucumbers.  Using a spoon and knife as needed, scour and scoop out the insides of cucumbers and put the insides in a blender and set the “bowls” aside.  Dice the smaller cucumber and set aside.

Mince the garlic and sprinkle with salt.  Using the back of a wide knife blade, work the salt and garlic together until it forms a smooth paste.  Scrap up the garlic and add to blender. 

If walnuts aren’t already toasted, do so by spreading on a baking sheet and placing in 200 F oven for about 15 minutes, until golden.  Add toasted almonds to blender, reserving a couple for garnish.  Pulse blender to start processing the ingredients.   Add the bread and continue to process. 

When the mixture is fairly smooth, slowly add the grape seed oil and combine well.   Next add the plain yogurt and process again until well combined.  Finally add the cold water and lemon juice.   Taste and season a needed with white pepper. 

Stir (not blend!) the diced cucumber into the soup.  Carefully spoon the soup into the cucumber “bowls”.   Put tops on and chill for at least an hour.  Before serving, remove tops and garnish soup with ribbons of basil, a pinch of lemon zest, and an almond sliver.  Serve immediately.

(makes 6 hor’dourve servings) 

almond-cucumber-soup-in-cucumber-bowls.jpg

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: .

Now you don’t even have to cook it yourself… The Late Bird Gets the Worm…er, Free Goodies

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  July 30, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Those little soup bowls would be perfect for a garden party. When’s the party?

    Reply
  • 2. Jennie  |  July 30, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Name your date, chica, and I’ll host! Speaking of which, it is about time for another Backyard Blog Bonanza… I’ll keep ya posted. :)

    Reply
  • 3. Trace  |  July 30, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Ah, you beat me to it! Thanks for this post. Nice cold gazpacho in a lemon cucumber bowl. Or hummus. Or any dip for that matter. Now, for fall, be thinking of Long Island Cheese Pumpkin bowls…

    Reply
  • 4. Jennie  |  July 31, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Trace – hummus is a great idea! I wonder what we could come up with if we put our two creative heads together….let’s concur the culinary world! :) You’ll definitely have to do the pumpkin bowls since we’re not growing pumpkins, but I adore them and would love to see what you can do with them. I just wish fall would hurry up and get here. August is my least favorite month!

    Reply
  • 5. Crystal  |  July 31, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    You are so innovative. I’ve never even seen lemon cucumbers before. I’ll be on the look out for these! Thanks!

    Reply
  • […] looks like a lemon tennis ball. I love the way that Jennie from the blog Straight From the Farm has hollowed out these little lemon cucumbers and turned them into appetizer-sized soup bowls. She has posted the […]

    Reply
  • 7. Jennie  |  July 31, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Crystal – Yep, they’re pretty “cool”…haha, get it – “cool” cucumbers. ;) Oh boy. I’d better stick to blogging and quit with the joke telling. But seriously, get your hands on some of these if you can. You won’t find them in a grocery store though…haunt a few farmers markets and you’ll likely see them soon enough.

    Reply
  • 8. Lemon Cucumber Soup Bowls | Health Foods Blog  |  August 1, 2007 at 3:07 am

    […] looks like a lemon tennis ball. I love the way that Jennie from the blog Straight From the Farm has hollowed out these little lemon cucumbers and turned them into appetizer-sized soup bowls. She has posted the […]

    Reply
  • 9. Lemon Cucumber Soup Bowls at EbuyMark.com  |  August 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    […] looks like a lemon tennis ball. I love the way that Jennie from the blog Straight From the Farm has hollowed out these little lemon cucumbers and turned them into appetizer-sized soup bowls. She has posted the […]

    Reply
  • 10. mac  |  August 28, 2007 at 5:44 am

    I had a bunch of these in July and couldn’t figure out what to do with them to preserve their shape – great idea with the soup!!!!

    Reply
  • 11. Jennie  |  August 28, 2007 at 6:06 am

    Thanks, Mac! Our plants succumbed to some pests and the heat so no more at the farm for this summer. Sounds like yours might be done also. We’ll have to eagerly await their return next season. :)

    Reply
  • 12. Ginn  |  September 7, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I LOVE this idea! We have a ton of these growing in our church garden and this will be a PERFECT use for these come soup sunday!!

    Reply
  • 13. the adventures of midge the mess. | consciousleigh  |  October 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    […] cucumber almond soup – farm yard had a plethora of lemon cucumbers, so i hunted down a recipe to use up a few. i […]

    Reply
  • 14. Nicole  |  August 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Sweet! I have a bountiful harvest of Dosakai which is an Indian variety of lemon cucumber. They do so well here in N TX. The smallest are the size of a fist and the largest a cantalope! very very yummy!

    Reply
  • 15. Lemon Cucumbers | Simply Recipes  |  July 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    […] Lemon cucumber soup bowls – from Straight from the Farm […]

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  • 17. thatoldschoolgirlagain  |  March 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Oldschool's Notebook.

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