Dill Cucumber Soup

The heart health benefits of this refreshing dill cucumber soup is in the main ingredient - the cucumber. Cucumbers 

have the ability to help maintain proper blood pressure, either lowering high blood pressure or raising low blood pressure. The juice of the cucumber in this dill cucumber soup is rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber that work effectively for regulating blood pressure. Studies have shown that eating cucumbers help to lower blood pressure by as much as 5.5 points in some hypertension prone individuals when coupled with a diet of low starch and lean proteins. Because of the low calorie and high water content of cucumbers, this dill cucumber soup is an ideal diet recipe for people who are looking to lose weight loss also.

Another plus for the cucumber's positive effects on heart health is the lowering of cholesterol already existing in the body. Cucumbers do not contain cholesterol, yet have the unique effect of altering the biochemical makeup of cholesterol so that excess cholesterol is flushed out of the system rather than being absorbed.

Recipe Ingredients:

12 medium to large cucumbers, divided into two groups of 6 each

1/4 cup honey, divided

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

dill sprigs (optional), for garnish

Recipe Instructions:

Cut 6 unpeeled, washed cucumbers into 1/2 inch chunks. Place half of cucumber chunks and 2 tablespoons honey into a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour puréed cucumber mixture through a cheese cloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining chunks - except with no honey. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Tip: chill bowl in refrigerator before adding ingredients.

Peel, de-seed with knife or spoon, and slice remaining 6 washed cucumbers; placing slices in a bowl. Add vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey; toss well to coat. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

Working with puréed cucumber mixture in sieve, press mixture lightly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze out juice; discard solids.

Place half of marinated cucumber slices, avocado and 1 3/4 cups cucumber juice in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Pour cucumber mixture into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining cucumber slices and 1 3/4 cups cucumber juice; reserve any remaining juice for another use.

Stir in olive oil, chopped dill, salt and pepper. Place 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls. Garnish with cracked black pepper and dill sprigs, if desired.

Soup will keep well in refrigerator for two to three days.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information/Analysis:

Calories: 225 Protein: 3.2g Carbohydrates: 23.4g Total Fat: 14.0g Saturated Fat: 2.0g Dietary Fiber: 5.1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 109mg

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