Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cold Cucumber Soup and Basil Garlic Bread

This is one of my favorite summer soups! Cold and refreshing, light and tasty. This will serve 4-6, or in our case, it was sufficient for several meals. My friend Katie serves it with the most delicious little cheesey scones, but I made this basil garlic bread this week and the combo is heavenly!
3 medium cucumbers
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups sour cream
3 T. cider vinegar
2 t. salt
1 clove garlic*
Peel and seed cucumbers. Cut in chunks and puree in blender, along with the broth, in small batches. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Chill for at least four hours. Serve with optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped avocado, cilantro, slivered and toasted almonds.
*I used three cloves of mashed roasted garlic instead.
(My friend Katie gave me this recipe. She serves it with the most delicious little cheesey scones!)

1 cup fresh basil (hard packed)
6 garlic cloves (peeled)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/4 cup lukewarm water
 2 t. sugar
2-1/4 t. active dry yeast
1 t. salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Chop basil leaves and garlic finely, or place in a food processor and chop finely. Do not turn into a liquid. Add olive oil slowly. Set aside. In another bowl add lukewarm water and sugar, sprinkle yeast on top of water. Set aside to activate the yeast; about 5 minutes. Add yeast to basil mixture and mix. Add flour 1 cup at a time till dough is smooth. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise till dough doubles in size. Punch down dough. Form dough into a loaf and place in a greased pan. Cover let dough double in size. Place loaf in a 350 F oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
(This recipe is from the website.)

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