Summer is time to put buttermilk on the menu. 

 

I have never been one for drinking big glasses of butermilk, but I LOVE the variety of buttermilk and spring veggie soups.  So refreshing, so easy, and something you can prepare big batches of ahead, so you can pull out a chilled glass jar of refreshing soup when you need it later. And, I would not lie about this – a pint of this soup for lunch will literally cool you down, and keep you working.

Did you know too, that cucumbers are amazingly nutritious?  Cucumbers are naturally low in calories, but high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, electrolytes, and water. So do something your future self will thank you for, and put that summer protein buttermilk to work for you this year. 

A glug here, some easy home made buttermilk dressing there, a great natural marinade for meats like pork and chicken, plus cornbrread just is not  cornbread without buttermilk. And let us not forget buttermilk chocolate cake, and buttermilk pie. It will not go to waste.

Here in Pittsburgh, we have a couple local, easily sourced, independently owned and bottled choices for excellent, delicious, buttermilk. If you can, Pasture Maid Creamery is a single-farm choice in glass returnable bottles, and is low temperature pasteurized to retain the most nutrient density from the milk. Supermarket ultra pasteurized will last longer, but many of the nutrients are destroyed by the high temperature used in the pasteurization and homogonization processes.

Here’s my favorite, super-simple Martha Stewart-inspired recipe. Whenever there are very few ingredients, it pays to use the best quality ingredients you can find. 

Martha serves hers in bowls, garnished with cucumber slices, but I measure mine into pint Mason jars, and store them in the fridge for a grab-and-go lunch when things get hot. The frosted glass jar somehow makes it all more refreshing and delicious. 

2 cucumbers peeled, halved, and seeded, plus thin cucumber rounds, for serving
2 cups buttermilk
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving 

1/2 tsp granulated garlic (optional)

Roughly chop or grate the cucumbers. Place roughly chopped cucumber in a food processor or blender with buttermilk and granlulated garlic if using.  Blend until smooth, 1 minute. 

Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among four bowls and stir in diced cucumber, or portion into mason jars – the plastic lids are extra nice. 

To serve, top with cucumber rounds, a drizzle of oil, chopped herbs, or more pepper, if desired.