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Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Bulgur Timbales
With the dog days of summer just around the corner, this chilled
cucumber-yogurt soup is the perfect way to cool off. Serve it with a brightly seasoned bulgur timbale in the center of each bowl, surrounded by a white moat of pureed soup.
To manufacture bulgur, the wheat kernel is first parboiled, then dried. The kernels are ground and sifted to divide them by size. A good main-order source of all four grades of bulgur is www.sunnylandmills.com. They also carry bulgur made from kamut, an ancient cousin of wheat.
For the soup
8 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
For the timbales
1 1/3 cups cooked fine or coarse bulgur
1/3 cup finely diced seeded tomato
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint, plus 4 small sprigs for garnish
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and finely chopped
Salt to taste
1. To make the soup, reserve half of one cucumber and refrigerate. Place the remaining cucumbers into a food processor with the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, and oil.
2. Purée the soup (some of the cucumber pulp will remain evident in the purée). Add salt to taste, cover, and chill.
3. Meanwhile, make the timbales: Combine the bulgur, tomato, oil, lemon juice, chopped mint, cumin, and salt in a bowl. Cover and let marinate until serving time, at least 10 to 15 minutes.
4. To serve, divide the cucumber purée among four wide, shallow soup bowls. Finely dice the reserved cucumber and stir into the chilled soup.
5. To shape the timbales: Press enough of the bulgur mixture into a
1/3-cup measure to reach the top.
6. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the timbale. Position over the center of a soup bowl and turn over. Tap the bottom, releasing the timbale into the soup. Repeat, making three more timbales. Garnish each with a sprig of mint.
Yield: 4 servings
Copyright Lorna Sass, 2006
Reprinted with permission from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way (Clarkson Potter)
Lorna Sass is the author of WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY, which won a 2007 James Beard Foundation Award in the "healthy focus" category. Her website is www.lornasass.com. Sass is also the author of Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker.