Cucumber soup doesn’t exactly sound exciting, but this ultra-creamy version is actually insanely satisfying, thanks to some surprising ingredients. The base of the soup is made from cucumbers, but it gets a nutritional boost from protein-packed dairy products like kefir and sour cream, plus additional veggies like vitamin B-rich beets and potatoes.
We make sure to add four times as much kefir as sour cream, since the fermented milk drink is full of gut-healthy probiotics. The dish is then rounded out with fresh greens like chives, dill, and dried mint that lend a refreshing burst of flavor to your bowl.
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Best of all, the healthy vegetarian soup recipe is super easy (and quick!) to whip up. Start by simply drizzling veggies with olive oil and roasting them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. After that, separately mix the potatoes with dill and the beets with chives.
Next, mix the cucumbers, kefir, sour cream, onion, mint, salt, and lemon juice in a blender until they reach your desired consistency. If you love a chunky soup, pulse the liquid for less time. Want your soup extra silky? Blend it for longer and strain it afterwards.
Once you’re done, pour the cucumber soup into four bowls and add the warm potatoes and beets to each, along with a dollop of sour cream for a satisfying topping. Sprinkle with chives, drizzle with heart-healthy olive oil, and—most importantly—enjoy!
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Combine the potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Turn the potatoes out onto half of the sheet pan, spreading them into a single layer. Add the beets to the bowl with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to combine. Turn the beets onto the other half of the sheet pan, spreading them out as well. (You can create a border by folding a sheet of aluminum foil and wedging it between the edges of the sheet pan crosswise to create two distinct sections; this helps keep the red beets from bleeding into the potatoes.)
Cover the pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it around the edges of the pan to seal. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, uncover, and give the vegetables a stir (keeping them separate so the beets don’t stain the potatoes). Remove any potatoes that are tender. Wearing oven mitts, cover the pan again and continue to roast until all the vegetables are tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the potatoes in one bowl and the beets in another bowl. Stir the dill into the potatoes and the chives into the beets. Set aside.
Combine the cucumbers, kefir, sour cream, onion, mint (if using), lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender; blend until smooth, adding ice water by the tablespoonful if necessary to thin to your desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed. (At this point the cucumber soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; for an extra-silky texture, strain the soup before refrigerating.)
Pour the soup into 4 bowls. Divide the warm potatoes and warm beets among the bowls, dollop with sour cream, and sprinkle with chives. Drizzle with the remaining oil and serve.
Adapted from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Ken Carlson.