Chilled Cucumber Soup...or Smoothie

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

Here is one recipe that diverges into two: With the same basic ingredients to start—and a high-powered blender—you have either a chilled savory soup or a sweet-tart green smoothie. The soup is elegant and light, an easy lunch or starter; the smoothie is a robust and healthy breakfast or snack on a hot summer’s day. Refreshing, juicy cucumbers take the starring role in these vibrant green purées.

Serves 4

Basic ingredients for both
6 small thin-skinned cucumbers, chopped
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime—your choice

To start
Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blend Tek).

To make the chilled soup
½ peeled shallot, chopped
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup cilantro or dill—your choice
½ jalapeño chili, seeded and diced—optional
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced chives or scallions, for garnish
Herb fronds, for garnish
1 cup edible flowers or chive blossoms, for garnish
½ cup Greek yogurt thinned with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, for garnish

Blend basic ingredients (above) with first 7 soup additions until smooth, then chill until very cold. Serve in shallow bowls garnished with minced chives, herbs, edible flowers and a drizzle of thinned yogurt.

To make the smoothie
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup packed mint leaves
3 tablespoons local honey
Pinch sea salt

Blend basic ingredients (above) with smoothie additions until smooth. Serve immediately.

Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at sarah@edibleboston.com