Friday, 14 August 2015

A Stone-Cold Flash in the Pan!

Zuppa Fredda di Cetriolo alla Menta & Yogurt, con Prosciutto Croccante & Paprika Affumicata
Minty, Chilled Cucumber and Yogurt Soup with Crispy Ham & Smoked Paprika

I was feeling hot and bothered, basically because once again it was hot and I couldn't be bothered to torture myself for too long at a hot stove in the kitchen... So I improvised a quick, cold supper for myself, which took little more than a "flash in the pan" to make it work...

A refreshing and minty, cucumber soup with amongst other things, salty and savory, flaky and delicious ham to give it a full-bodied flavor... And mild yogurt alongside spicy smoked paprika to take those good flavors up to a higher level! And all of that with no "real cooking" involved! So how cool is that?

If you have a frying pan and a blender, you can have this delicious and refreshing summer dish put together in little more than 10 minutes... Refreshing, light and perfect for these hot, sultry nights!


Do you need a precise recipe to follow to make this? No. And why not? Well, I don't want to get too personal, but it might depend a little upon the size of your cucumber... Tee-hee! Having said that, my experience this evening was enough for me to reassure you that you will get 2 nice bowls of soup from 1 good sized cucumber. And what else do you need?

2 spring onions, 2 slices of ham (prosciutto crudo) of your choice, 1 stalk of celery and 4-5 large celery leaves, a good, fill handful of fresh mint, 3-4 cups of yogurt, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil.

Cucumber, yogurt and mint alone would be refreshing, but somehow "meh"... but with salty, flakes of ham and spicy and smokey paprika... It becomes something a little more like, "give it to me!"- lol!


The ham needs to simply go into a dry pan and to sizzle in its own fat and juices until they evaporate away and it becomes totally dehydrated and stiff as a little board... Perfect for crumbling apart once it is cool.

And whilst it cools, you can pop your coarsely chopped spring onion into the same pan with a little olive oil...

... and toss and stir the onion until it has soaked up the oil and the flavors from the pan and begun to turn brown.


Now, coarsely chop the cucumber and celery stalk and pop them into your blender, along with the mint and celery leaves, 2 cups of yogurt, the spring onion slices and a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Blend together and check the consistency... Then taste and adjust accordingly. Is it too thick? Then add more yogurt. Is it to bland? Add more salt... Come on now! You can do it... I know you can!

Once you are happy wth the flavor, serve up with plenty of flaky, lean ham, a blob of fresh yogurt and a generous sprinkle of smoked paprika flavor...sublime!


To be honest... I am not a great fan of these cold summer soups... But I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one! You have to give things a try... To be able to understand why!

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