Cool Cucumber and Purslane Soup


A cool summer soup. photo: Abigail Weber

Chilled cucumber soup on a hot summer day is such a refreshing treat. But to be honest, it can be a bit one note. In mulling over new and interesting ways to use the lovely purslane I received from my CSA, my thoughts immediately drifted to this classic summer soup. Would the purslane add texture and complexity? I’m happy to report that it did indeed. Purslane brought a peppery highlight to the soup that worked so well with the mellow cucumber. This recipe is based on a cucumber soup that was floating around the test kitchen at a past employer of mine, The Australian Women’s Weekly. Everything I learned there made me the recipe writer I am today and I find myself returning to those old reliable recipes time and time again. If you are making this for a larger crowd, go ahead and double or triple it. I didn’t have enough purslane to test a big batch but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t scale up just fine. I like to serve this as an opener to a summer luncheon, or as an elegant pass around hors d’oeuvres served in small shot glasses.

Makes about 4 cups

1 large English cucumber (about 1 pound), peeled and coarsely grated
1 bunch purslane, leaves picked
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
16 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt
Salt to taste
Mint leaves, chopped tomato, and a drizzle of olive oil, to garnish

  1. Place the grated cucumber in a colander set over a bowl. Let the cucumber drain for at least 2 hours then squeeze out any excess water in the cucumber. Reserve the cucumber water.
  2. Place the cucumber, purslane, garlic, mint, vinegar, and oil in the bowl of a food processor or a blender and process until smooth (the mixture will still have texture and a bit of crunch). Pour into a large bowl and mix through the yogurt until well combined. Stir in the reserved cucumber water a little at a time until you have achieved the consistency you desire. Season to taste with salt and chill for a few hours. Serve garnished with mint leaves, chopped tomato and a drizzle of oil.

Nutritional analysis based on 4 servings:
Calories 114, Fat 4g, Sodium 99mg, Carbohydrate12g , Fiber 1g, Sugar 10g, Protein 8g

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1 Response to Cool Cucumber and Purslane Soup

  1. Barbara Carr says:

    This looks really yummy. It’s getting a trial run at my house.


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