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Cucumber-Apple Fresca

William Bohannon of Memphis, Tennessee, contributed this crisp and refreshing soup--and in immense quantities. His recipe makes 4 gallons. I've cut it way down and adapted it a bit, but will include his original recipe as well in the event you have the occasion to provide this summer soup for a family reunion...or any large crowd event. It's a fascinating blend of sweet fruit, savory vegetables, and tart buttermilk--perfect for the dog days of summer. William is a chef at Jim's Place, and he recommends stirring in "lobster or crab meat pieces for an extra treat." Serve cold to 6-8 people as a first course.

Garnish: green onions, finely sliced on the diagonal

To juice the apples, onion, and green pepper, put them (onions and peppers first) into your blender, then whirl while pouring in the concentrate from the grape juice, then little bits of the milk. The point is to liquify the solids with as little liquid as possible to get a fine blend. When your satisfied with the blending, pour in the rest of the milk and buttermilk and blend well. Pour out into a container and stir in the diced cucumbers, minced parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Let chill in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top each with some sliced green onions.

When you're serving a crowd!

  • 15 cucumbers, peeled seeded diced.
  • 24 granny smith Apples, peeled cored juiced.
  • 11.5 oz can frozen white grape juice concentrate
  • 1 large white onion, juiced
  • 4 large green bell peppers, seeded and juiced
  • 1 gallon sour cream
  • 1 gallon buttermilk
  • ¼ cup fresh minced parsley
  • water as necessary to desired consistency
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and keep cold. Serve as a cold soup. Yield about 4 gallons.