Dear Lynne: Puréed cucumbers and grapes form the base of this wonderfully fresh, bright soup, with yogurt and sour cream adding tangy richness, fresh lemon, a nice touch of garlic, sherry vinegar and a dash of hot sauce rounding out the harmony. Quick to make, the chilled soup makes a great snack or light meal.
Total time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Servings: 4 to 6
Note: Adapted from the Sweet Life Cafe on Massachusett's Martha's Vineyard. To make smoked paprika oil, warm 1/3 cup olive oil with 2 tablespoons smoked paprika in a small saucepan, then strain through cheesecloth and cool before using. The restaurant also suggests garnishing the soup with clams steamed in white wine.
2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and chopped (seeds can be removed)
1/2 bunch green grapes (about 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic
1 cup yogurt, preferably Greek-style
1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
Tabasco, or similar hot sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or as desired
Toasted almonds, for garnish
Sliced red grapes, for garnish
Smoked paprika oil, for garnish
1. Purée the cucumbers in a blender. Push the cucumbers through a sieve into a medium bowl. Blend the grapes and garlic in the blender, then push through a sieve and stir into the cucumbers.
2. Whisk in the yogurt, sour cream and lemon juice, and season with the salt, sugar and vinegar. Add the Tabasco to taste. This makes about 1½ quarts of soup. Chill the soup, then divide among chilled bowls and garnish with the almonds, grapes and paprika oil before serving.
Each of 6 servings (without garnish): 89 calories; 4 grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 9 grams sugar; 1,197 mg sodium.