Makes 4 to 6 servings

During this delightfully warm summer we are having, a cool cucumber mint soup is perfect to enjoy. Locally grown cucumbers are now available in the markets or from our vegetable gardens. The small Lebanese cucumber easy to obtain these days or the larger field cucumbers. This recipe cooks the cucumber briefly to help bring out their mild flavor with the addition of fresh mint and lemon juice.

4 Lebanese or 2 field cucumbers about 1 lb (500 g) 1
2 tablespoons (25 mL) butter
1 sliced onion or washed leek (coarse leaves discarded)
4 cups (1L) chicken or vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup (75 mL) packed fresh mint leaves, reserve 6 leaves for garnish
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste plus a pinch sugar

1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove half the skin of the small cucumbers for colour or if using field cucumbers, peel away the tough skin and scoop out the seeds. Coarsely chop the cucumber. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion or leeks, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cucumber, stock and mint. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper and sugar. Chill at least 2 hours. To serve, garnish with mint.

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