I finally did it, and I lived to tell the tale. I’ve made no secret about my meh-ness toward cold soups, but as temperatures heat up, I had to try one. Thank goodness Mom came through with just my type of chilled soup.
When I started this endeavor at the outset of the year, she had this suggestion ready and called it extraordinary. As I texted her about my ambivalence toward chilled soups, she said she felt the same but this one would be worth it. Mom definitely knows best.
I should have known the recipe from Food & Wine was going to be OK when it was said to be the chef’s take on a Greek salad. Greek salad is such a favorite for me that I found two different ways to make it earlier in the year. I was optimistic it’d turn out OK.
Then I made it, and, boy, it just hits all the right Greek salad flavor notes while not utilizing the ingredients in the same way. The onion and olives are sauteed, the cucumber soaked in honey and salt, the tomatoes pureed —and a garnish. Did I mention it looked absolutely fabulous? And was so simple?
Here’s what I did, sticking close to the recipe but with easier-to-find ingredients.
Greek Salad Soup
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 small red onion, diced
3/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (if you have only one kind of vinegar on hand, I think that would be fine)
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey, divided
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2cup feta crumbles (I didn’t measure)
Baby greens, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat six tablespoons olive oil in a medium pan. Add onion, olives and oregano. Cook over medium heat about 7 minutes, stirring often, until onions are translucent. Remove from heat; add the vinegar(s). Cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, mix cucumber slices with 1/2 tablespoon honey; season with salt. Set aside.
Puree chopped tomatoes (not the cherry tomatoes!) with remaining ½ tablespoon honey; season generously with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, pour pureed tomatoes into bowls (recipe should serve four), top with onion-olive mixture, cucumber slices and feta. Garnish with baby greens and drizzle on olive oil. It looks great for serving, then give it a good, old messy stir when you eat it. Enjoy the flavor kick of Greek salad in a soup
Christinia Crippes is a Courier reporter who loves to cook. Read her blog at www.wcfcourier.com..