Friday, August 22, 2008

Buttermilk Cucumber Soup: Weird, But Good

Between the summers of 10th and 11th grade, three friends and I discovered an awful, wonderful secret – one that never dared make itself known to humanity, lest we be overcome by its sheer power and general lunacy. I choose now to disclose it here, as I believe that the ensuing 15 years has prepared us for just such a revelation.

So prepare yourselves, dear readers, for you are about to be shocked (and perhaps terrified) by a disclosure so grand, you just might be driven mad.

It’s …

It’s …

It’s … Tostitos dipped in vanilla icing.

“EW!” you might say. “That’s DISGUSTING! I’d rather eat HAIR. What the crap were you doing?”

But we were young, see. Our metabolisms were working overtime, and summer nights afforded us the opportunity to experiment with food. (Not drugs. We were nerds. Food is the drugs of nerds.) We thought we had reached the zenith of available cuisine when we discovered raw cookie dough, yet it was nothing compared to the Tostito/icing combination. My friend A tried it on a lark, and quickly passed it around, until we had all fallen under its sweet, salty, chemically-enhanced sway.

In some ways, cold Buttermilk-Cucumber Soup is like Tostitos and Icing: it mixes two divergent flavors to form a single, pleasing concoction, it’s ridiculously easy to make, and yes – admittedly, some people (probably kids) might find it repulsive.

To be honest, I’d never even heard of BCS until yesterday, when I read about it on The Joy of Soup. Apparently, it’s been around for awhile, and there are several dozen variations on the theme. (See here, here, and here.) This version asked for dill, scallions, salt, and pepper, which I rather liked. It tasted like Scandinavia, and would go well with lox, bread, or any food bought at IKEA.

Again, it’s not to everyone’s taste, but those who give it a shot might be pleasantly surprised. And if you DO try, and you DON’T like it … try Tostitos and icing. It won’t make you proud (and it's not cheap OR healthy), but it will make you wonder what other flavors are out there, just waiting to be paired. And that's the point, right?

Buttermilk-Cucumber Soup
Makes 2 1-cup servings
Adapted from The Joy of Soup.

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped (seeds optional)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper

1) Add cucumber to food processor. Pulse it about 3 times, or until it’s chopped small and/or about the size of a small dice.

2) Add buttermilk, dill (however much you want), salt, and pepper to food processor. Pulse 2 more times. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3) Garnish with scallions

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
114 calories, 2.3 g fat, $0.89

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped: 24 calories, 0.3 g fat, $0.50
2 cups low-fat buttermilk: 196 calories, 4.3 g fat, $0.99
Fresh dill: negligible calories and fat, $0.15
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper: negligible calories and fat $0.03
Scallions: 8 calories, 0 g fat, $0.11
TOTAL: 228 calories, 4.6 g fat, $1.78
PER SERVING (TOTAL/2): 114 calories, 2.3 g fat, $0.89


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