Serves 4. Taken from ‘Cook Your Own Veg’ by Carol Klein. Available in the Shippon.


  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1 green pepper (optional)
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • 2 handfuls perpetual spinach
  • leaves from 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 600ml (1 pint) cold water
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds (optional)
  • 3 pinches sea salt, or to taste


1. Smash the garlic and remove the skins. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Gently stew the garlic and shallot in the olive oil for about 8 minutes to soften them without burning or frying. Keep a lid on the pan and add a little extra water if there is any danger of browning.
2. Lightly peel the cucumbers and cut them into quarters lengthways. Cut away the seeds if they are too big or there are too many of them. Cut them into 2cm (3/4 inch) dice. Skin and deseed the pepper and chilli, if using, and cut into similar small dice. Add them to the pan with the cucumber and stew gently for 10 minutes or until the cucumber is a little soft.
3. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the green leaves and the parsley to wilt them. Tip into a blender with the water and the almonds if using, and liquidize, or mash and whisk by hand. Add salt to taste and more water if the soup is too thick. Serve warm or cold.

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