I love this season as we send summer packing and begin to welcome fall. I mean, the heat is still here, but there is a little less sting, if more humidity, to it. I made this soup for the first time for a dinner party to celebrate my momma’s birthday. It is served cold to combat the heat, but combines the end of summer (cucumber) with the beginning of fall (arugula). It is as simple as can be, literally there are 4 ingredients involved here. I got all of the ingredients this morning from Boggy Creek Farm, the cukes are gorgeous and free of any weird waxy coating. I could eat them all day like an apple. The arugula is tiny and spicy enough that I didn’t need to add pepper to the soup. So, bust out your blender and throw these things in, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so and enjoy this for anytime of day.
Arugula and Cucumber Soup
2 c baby arugula
4 c cucumber, chopped
1/2 c White Mountain (or other Bulgarian style) yogurt
2 t salt
a dash of white balsalmic vinegar for garnish
Place all ingredients into the body of a blender. Blend. Taste, season and adjust (that just means add more salt if you need to or pepper if you want). Let chill in the fridge for an hour so the flavors really meld.
*A note on cucumbers- taste the skin before you peel and seed them. If the skin is super bitter, then peel them and remove the seeds. Some varieties have skin that is perfectly fine to eat, the ones I used today are an example, so taste the skin before you peel!
Serve with a sandwich or toast. We will be having Barrie’s whole wheat bread toasted with goat cheese. Yum!
In other news, I spent the early part of last week at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance conference and it reaffirmed all that I have been exploring and learning in the food world. The farmers, ranchers and presenters were inspiring. These people care deeply for their products and the people they are feeding. They are the heroes of this movement for the long hours they put in and the never-ending list of beaurocratic challenges they face daily. As a bonus, they are doing their level best to preserve our environment and our food sources. They don’t do this to make millions, those are the farmers that tend to make us sick, but for a real care for the animals, our earth, their families and customers. The best way that we can support them is to go to the farmers markets and buy directly from them and when we are shopping in bigger stores to make conscientious decisions about spending our money closer to home. Buy the goat cheese that is made closer to you, not the one from overseas. As a new feature of this blog, I will profile some of these local food heroes, so you can get to know the remarkable people who are feeding us.
As for the consumption challenge, Jo and I are holding strong. We got home from a trip to Maine last night and it took some real willpower to head to the store rather than the taco place, but in the end we were happy to be eating the tacos at home, with the food from sources we know and trust. There are two major observations I want to share with you all. The first thing is that we have really enjoyed communing around our table with our friends and family. Earlier I mentioned the dinner for my mom. It was so nice to celebrate in the intimacy of our home, we didn’t have to fight with loud music (we turned that up when we felt like it) and I am pretty sure my mom and her best friend wouldn’t have danced around a restaurant dining room the way they did ours. The second thing is that travel takes on a new dimension of excitement since we get to eat out. We also seek out the local food treasures of the places we visit and revel in the things that are fresh in that part of the world. In Maine we found a sweet little farmers market that had some of the best charcuterie I have had. We made ourselves sick on mussels and lobster, all with less than a mile of travel under their belts and damn they have some good apples there. So, there you have it. We are happy to be home and I loved getting to spend my morning at Boggy Creek, then in our kitchen.
As always, thank you for reading.
Not That Martha