Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 seedless European cucumbers, or 3 regular cucumbers, unwaxed, unpeeled and chopped (peel if waxed)
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, chopped
1 Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup fresh herbs of choice: dill, mint, tarragon, cilantro or parsley

Heat the oil in a saucepan; add the shallot and garlic and cook a few minutes to soften. Add the cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover the pan and cook until the cucumber begins to soften and exude water, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.

Puree the cucumber mixture in a blender with remaining ingredients until smooth, adding water if needed to reach desired texture. Season with additional salt and/or lemon juice, keeping in mind that extra seasoning won't hurt since the soup will be served cold.

Chill for an hour or two, or serve the soup straight from the blender, if you prefer.