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Cool as a Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

Yield 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds English cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh dillweed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely minced shallots
  • 1/2 pound medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup razor red onions*
  • Garnish: dillweed sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Peel cucumbers. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces; toss cucumber with salt, and transfer to a colander placed over a bowl. Cover and chill up to 8 hours.

  2. Transfer cucumber to a food processor or blender, discarding all liquid. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Whisk in buttermilk, pepper, and dillweed. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Set aside.

  3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp, and cook 30 seconds. Add vermouth; bring to a boil, and immediately strain liquid into cucumber mixture. Place shrimp mixture in a bowl; cover and chill shrimp mixture and cucumber mixture.

  4. Stir vinegar into cucumber mixture. Divide shrimp mixture evenly among individual soup bowls. Ladle soup over shrimp, and serve with diced tomato and razor red onions. Garnish, if desired.

  5. *Razor red onions are red onions sliced paper thin and tossed with a pinch of sugar and enough lemon juice to coat. Prepare 1 to 2 hours ahead, and toss occasionally until softened and pink.