Sunday, May 31, 2020

Julia Child's (Hot or Cold) Cream of Cucumber Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Although soup has no season for me, I usually wait until it's very warm and humid in Hawaii before making a handful of cold soups to work in with my usual hot soups. It's just a balmy low-80s with a breeze this weekend, but I had a few cucumbers and a hankering for cold cucumber soup.

I wanted to try the Cream of Cucumber Soup  from Julia Child that relies mostly on farina (cream of wheat) for thickening but the cream of wheat I found in my local grocery stores was over $7.00 for a large box that I doubted I'd use up. Instead I grabbed a small box of Cream of Rice that was under $4.00. Cream of rice is a good gluten-free option that works just as well. I made a couple of other small changes to the recipe, noted in red below. 

Cream of Cucumber Soup
Slightly Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2 by Julia Child via
(About 6 Servings)

1 1/2 lb cucumbers, about 3 large
1/2 cup minced shallots
3 Tbsp butter
6 cups light stock (I used vegan non-chicken stock), plus extra for thinning if needed
1 1/2 tsp wine vinegar (I used tarragon Vinegar)
3/4 tsp dried tarragon
(I added 1/2 tsp dill)
4 Tbsp farina (cream of wheat) breakfast cereal (I used cream of rice cereal)
salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup minced fresh herbs like dill, tarragon or parsley

Peel cucumbers. Cut 18-24 paper-thin slices and reserve in a bowl for later. Cut the rest of the cucumber into 1/2-inch chunks; you should have about 4 1/2 cups

Cook the shallots slowly in the butter for several minutes until tender but not browned. Add the cucumber chunks, broth, vinegar, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then stir in the farina. Simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes. Puree in a blender and then return the soup to the pan. Thin out with more broth if needed, and season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Just before serving, beat in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Ladle soup into bowls and place a dollop of the leftover sour cream on top of each. Float slices of cucumber on top of the sour cream and decorate with a sprinkling of herbs. 

Deb's Note: If you are planning on eating the soup cold, let it cool down to about room temp, then stir in the sour cream and chill in fridge at least 4 hours before serving.

Notes/Results: I know cold soup, cucumbers and cold soup with cucumbers are not everyone's favorite cup of soup ;-) but this one is really delicious--crisp, refreshing, the flavor of the herbs (tarragon and the dill I added) come through nicely. it's creamy and rich but the sour cream and vinegar give it a bright pop of acidity. On The daily Meal where I found the recipe, they said it was equally good cold and hot and when I tried the warm soup, it was good. There is just something about cucumbers and cold that go together though so that's the way I'll enjoy it. It's going to work with me with egg salad sandwiches this week and I'd happily make it again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are still doing Needs Must cooking from Julia Child and our 19 other featured chefs.

Let's see who awaits in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:

Simona of briciole shared Carrot, Radish and Turnip Salad with Microgreens and said, "I buy carrots, radishes and salad turnips by the bunch, then, once I get home, I cut off the greens from all of them and use those in other dishes. I admit I am still learning to appreciate carrot tops: they have a rather strong grassy flavor that I must dilute with other greens. ... One great characteristic of carrots, radishes and salad turnips is that they last a few days, unlike their greens, which wilt fairly quickly. This is particularly important for me as I am the only root vegetable eater in the household, which explains why the recipe is for one. Of course, it can be easily multiplied to nourish all the people around your table."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Chicken Gnocchi Soup and says, "This is knockoff recipe from an Olive Garden soup but with modifications to reduce the calorie count. Honestly, we haven't eaten at an Olive Garden restaurant in over 10 years but I did remember liking the rich and creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup. This wasn't arduous to prepare but if I'd taken the slow cooker option, well now you are really talking hands off time. The slow cooker option gives you more reading time during the cooking phase. No worries, it was completely worth it."

Thank you to Simona and Tina for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week and stay safe!


  1. I'm taking an easy route and bringing you a fruit salad. Refreshing for us in the summer heat, even though it's not summer yet.
    Your soup is a greta idea for beating the heat as well. I was reading a book that had so much food in it and I had to share.

  2. I admit I have never tried cucumber soup. I like cucumbers in small doses, so a soup seems like a large dose. However, your recipe uses herbs I like: I'll remember it when cucumbers are in season here :)


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)