Category Archives: lunch

Chilled Cucumber Buttermilk Soup w/ Dilled Shrimp


It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Regular readers know I love soups and I’m a big fan of chilled soups when hot summer days call for something light and refreshing for dinner.  Gazpacho or even a fruit soup might be the first ones that come to mind but they are really just a jumping off point.  In reality, the possibilities are endless.  I came across this soup from William Sonoma’s Soup of the Day when I was looking for a first course for a recent dinner party but it can just as easily be served as a light dinner when accompanied by a loaf of crusty bread (which is actually how we ate the leftovers the next night).

Because I was serving a crowd and think soup only improves with age, I tripled this recipe which meant blending the cucumber in batches.  Lacking fresh buttermilk I used rehydrated powder from King Arthur Flour with good results.  To make the soup richer I used half milk and half water when rehydrating the buttermilk.  I also substituted Greek style yogurt for the plan yogurt called for in the original recipe.

I’ll admit, I was initially a bit unsure about the combination of ingredients but realized that since I like them all individually I would probably enjoy them together.  My guests shared my skepticism but in the end every drop of the soup was scraped from the bowls proving that this recipe is indeed a success and a tasty way to eat your veggies.


5 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

4 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped

2 large cloves garlic

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups plain whole Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 pound bay shrimp, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

  • Place the cucumbers, green onions, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add the buttermilk, yogurt, and lemon juice and puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a 1/2 hour.
  • To make the shrimp, place the shrimp and dill in a small bowl and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the soup topped with the dilled shrimp.

Serves 4

Pumpkin Soup With Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Nothing says fall or winter more than pumpkin.  From pies to breads to soups, I love everything pumpkin. This creamy pumpkin soup from Williams-Sonoma’s Soup of the Day makes the perfect light dinner when served with a salad and bread but works equally well as the first course of a dinner.   The pumpkin I used had a surprisingly large number of seeds; I cooked them all and ate the extra seeds as a snack for the rest of the week.  Even Sidney loved them!

Serves 6
1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1)  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil.  Toss the pumpkin with the oil,
season with salt and pepper, and spread on the prepared baking sheet.  Roast the pumpkin until soft
and caramelized, 30-35 minutes.


2)  In a large, heavy pot, warm the butte rover medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute
until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 1 minute.  Add the
broth and the pumpkin and bring to a boil.  REduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.


3)  Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor (or use a stick blender the way I
do; this makes for speedier clean up).  Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper.

4)  To make the spicy pumpkin seeds, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and line a baking
sheet with tin foil.  In a bowl toss the seeds with the oil.

5)  In another bowl combine 1 teaspoon salt, the cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon.  Add the pumpkin
seeds to the spice mixture and stir to coat.  Spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking
sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.  Serve the soup garnished with the
pumpkin seeds.


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