Cold Soup On A Hot Summer Day (or Night)
It is hot. It is humid. It is sticky. Why of course that’s exactly how the weather is in Singapore this week, last week, the week before that and even the month before that. Yes I know that is what you expect the weather of a tropical country to be that is 137 km north of the equator. However we also expect frequent bouts of thunder showers in a week for a few hours that provides some respite from the heat. That surely has not been happening since 2014 started. Sigh!
Singapore is having a dearth of rain in years that numerous news posts and blogs have been talking about the city-country’s thirst for rain and the driest spell since 1869. This post is NOT another news item re-iterating what the weather has been these few days. We all know it and we are all experiencing it. However I feel there is something strange going on in Mother Nature’s mind and clearly she is not happy. I say this because there have been these unusual weather patterns across the world – The harsh winter in North America in 2013, Singapore’s dry spells and soaring heat , stormy weather over the UK are some of these. I found an interesting news article that provides some insights into the “weather remaining the same for prolonged periods”. I am sure these weather conditions affect crops and food produce everywhere. Even C&Z speaks about the lull in seasons in a recent post on “Cherry Clafoutis with Chestnut Flour”.
So during one of these hot days, I was walking back home with a bag of food supplies from the grocery store, perspiring in the heat, throat drying up and the harsh rays of the sun piercing my eyes . What a day to forget my sun glasses!! The very walk I used to enjoy from the grocery store to home felt like torture. Once home gulped down gallons of water, showered, ate cold fruit and made this cold soup for dinner.
Thank God I had bookmarked this recipe that was published in the Food and Travel magazine in Dec 2012 by Chef Bjorn of the Artichoke restaurant in Singapore. This was the much needed dinner at such a time. It is indeed a good soup to beat the heat. The soup is fairly simple to make and you can make it ahead so saves a lot of time especially when you want something quick and light. It is great to feed your hunger and thirst, both :)
Further the herbs, celery and garlic were so well infused within the yogurt. It is a powerful concoction of numerous flavors – sharp garlic, tart celery, sweet dill , citrus coriander and cool cucumber and yogurt. Not to miss the pastel green color of the soup.
I have the print version of the magazine, but found the link online here. Also below is the recipe for your reference- I have changed the quantities a bit
1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
3 Japanese cucumbers chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
A handful of dill herb
A handful of coriander
250 ml Greek style yogurt
200 ml cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half lemon
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Herbs and edible flowers for garnishing – I had chives on hand so used them
Method of preparation:
In a blender, blend everything except the salt, pepper, lemon juice and garnish herbs.
Once blended season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Refrigerate this blended mix for 5-6 hours or overnight. (I kept it for a few hours and then had it for dinner).
Before serving, strain the blended mix through a large sieve. For added texture, place little bit of the strained solids in the liquid and mix well.
Garnish with the chopped chives and serve!