Chemist in the Kitchen

March 23, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Chilled Cucumber & Mint Soup

Chilled Cucumber & Mint Soup

 So let me tell you guys about what I’ve been up to the past two months.


In the past two months alone, I have experienced the following:

-Hosted seven different visiting family and friends

-One ER visit

-More than a dozen different doctor visits

-One outpatient hand surgery

-Two weeks of surgery recovery

-My stove short-circuited and went up in flames :(

-Adopted a dog named Henry, who is my baby boy and furry love of my life

-Applied (AND got accepted!!!) to study Culinary Management at The Art Institute of Austin

-Put together and submitted a portfolio submission for a scholarship (with only one functional hand)

-Won aforementioned scholarship (!!!!!)

-Planted an entire balcony garden

-Got a job as a line cook at a cafe nearby, I start this Thursday!




But here I am! I survived and thrived! Not only that, I’m excited to share with you one of the recipes that I submitted for that scholarship I mentioned. To be considered for this scholarship, submissions had to include the following: a four-course menu for four people within a $100 maximum budget, a shopping list of all ingredients and costs, detailed recipes of each course, a printed menu design, professional photos of each dish, and a 300 word essay about who your culinary hero is, what you would provide to the culinary community, and how being a student at The Art Institute of Austin would help you accomplish that. I definitely did not expect to win this scholarship, especially because I completed my portfolio with only one hand, but here I am, winnings and all.


So let’s cut to the chase and talk about this chilled cucumber & mint soup (a bit limited on the pictures, sorry!). This soup is the perfect first course as both the cucumber and mint are refreshing on the palate. The cucumber serves as a palate cleanser, removing competing flavors from your taste buds, and the mint provides that refreshing burst that wakes them up. Despite having dairy, this soup is incredibly light and oh so easy to make. I specifically set out to make a soup that is light and refreshing while still having an earthy essence to it, and I believe that I have accomplished just that.


Cucumber Soup 2

Cucumber Soup 1


Without further ado, please enjoy this recipe as a glimpse into my scholarship submission portfolio and the beginning of my career of becoming a professional (and hopefully successful) culinarian.


With love,



Chilled Cucumber & Mint Soup

Prep Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Chilled Cucumber & Mint Soup


    Ingredients for crème fraiche:
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp buttermilk
    Ingredients for soup:
  • 2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 english cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 5 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Spread thinly sliced fennel in one flat layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.
  3. Combine the English cucumber, white pepper, heavy cream, chopped mint, and 2/3 of the toasted fennel (reserve the rest for garnish) in a food processor. Process on high until mixed thoroughly and no lumps. Add salt as necessary.
  4. Either chill the soup in the refrigerator for 6 hours or chill in an ice water bath while whisking to cool down the soup. To chill in an ice water bath, prepare a very large bowl with ice water. Pour the cucumber & mint soup into a smaller bowl and place into the ice water bath, making sure that the water does not get into the soup. Whisk constantly for 10-20 minutes until chilled.
  5. Divide the soup into 6 servings in small bowls. Garnish with leftover toasted fennel in the middle, and drizzle approximately 1 Tbsp crème fraiche. Serve immediately.

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