15th Harvest Week <> Aug. 16 - 22, 1999

My neighbor prepared this soup the other night and it made a delightful first course for a summer meal. A glass of chardonnay complemented it nicely!

Cucumber Soup
serves 3 - 4

2 large or 3 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut in chunks
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 - 3 tbsp. lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
a shake or two of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
pepitas for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients but garnish in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust lemon juice & salt, as desired. Chill. Top each bowlful with a sprinkling of pepitas.

makes about 1/3 cup (can be easily doubled)

1/2 C firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1 small clove garlic, minced/crushed
1 1/2 tbsp. grated (quality) parmesan
3 tbsp. good olive oil
salt to taste

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking pan and stirring often, until they just begin to brown and become fragrant. Remove from pan and cool a bit. Place all ingredients but oil in a food processor and process quickly to make a coarse, grainy paste. With motor running, pour in olive oil slowly (not painfully slowly, just not all at once). Season to taste with salt. Can be used immediately, or refrigerated (place in a jar and cover with a thin drizzle of olive oil, or a piece of plastic wrap pressed against surface of pesto to minimize surface discoloration). Pesto is great with plain old pasta, or grilled veggies and pasta, or, heck, try it on potatoes and green beans!!

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