Chilled Cucumber Soup

20 March 2014
Written by Nicola Galloway | Images by Nicola Galloway
Print Email

Nicola shares not only a delicious recipe with us this month but also the beautiful story of how her beloved Nana nurtured within Nicola a love of great food

My passion for cooking can be credited to my Nana. She taught me to cook. My parents weren't too flash in the area of food, though they did their best. Knowing they didn't have these skills, they shipped me off to my Nana to learn. Gosh, that sounds like some kind of sentence, but it resulted in some of my most treasured memories as a child. From around the age of eight my Nana would pick me up after school and we headed back to her place to prepare dinner - this almost always consisted of a soup, main course and dessert.

I had a little notebook I copied the recipes into from my Nana's recipe cards (those little boxes with all the recipe cards neatly filed in alphabetical order were fantastic - I want one). Sadly somewhere along the way of travelling and moving around in my 20s the little notebook is now gone. Luckily I can still phone my Nana or drop by to get a recipe from her. She has also compiled all her favourite recipes into a (rather large) printed book for all the family members. Though not always easy to find the recipe I am looking for, I refer to this often.

My Nana is one of those exceptional woman of her generation. Plus some. She swam in the 1948 Olympics (you might have seen her on the news last year), she was a Justice of the Peace (JP), marriage celebrant, dabbled in cabinet-making, is the mother of five children (four of them boys), and the wife of a busy doctor. She never failed to have a home-cooked (and often homegrown) dinner on the table, and the lunch boxes were always full of home baking. Really I don't know how she did it - I find it hard at times with two children. She also tried her hand at pottery and was rather good at it. I still remember her little pottery room in the basement of their big house, with her potter's wheel overlooking the Tasman Bay. She always looked so 'at peace' sitting at that wheel churning out her creations.

As she retired from pottery many years ago her pieces are now speckled around the family and I treat my two bowls as you would any family heirloom. They are only used for special occasion, even then I treat them with the utmost care. As I am sharing my Nana's recipe this week I thought it was only fitting to photograph this stunning soup in her bowls. These bowls are a set of eight that Nana created for her belated sister as a birthday gift (I would be stoked to get something like that for my birthday). I carefully transported them to our home wrapped snugly in newspaper to avoid, dare I say, a breakage. These are a family heirloom after all.



Chilled Cucumber Soup

The yogurt compliments the refreshing cucumber and mint, making this a delightful cooling soup on a hot day.

1 telegraph cucumber or 3 Lebanese cucumbers

1 perfectly ripe avocado

1/2 cup natural yogurt

juice of half a lemon or lime

2 small cloves of garlic, peeled

handful of mint

6 ice cubes or 1/3 cup chilled water

A generous pinch of salt

Cracked pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides several times. Check taste, adding extra lemon, salt and/ or cracked pepper if needed. Add more chilled water or several more ice cubes if the mix is too thick. It should be pourable like a smoothie.

Serve icy cold in small bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and mint leaves to garnish.

  • Nicola Galloway is a trained chef and nutrition consultant as well as a successful author, multi-magazine food writer and award-winning blogger. Passionate about clean fresh food and living a simple low-impact life, Nicola produces recipes that represent a return to homegrown goodness.
    Homegrown Kitchen:



Add comment

Security code

MyMag this month...

...your magazine for inspiring stories, beautiful spaces, networking, sharing & celebrating community...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Zealand


MyMag is your Mag! Subscribe today - it's FREE.  
Subscribe and receive our monthly newsletter keeping you up to date with the latest edition.