Cucumber and Garbanzo Bean Soup

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1- 15.5 ounce cans garbanzo beans OR 3 cups cooked dry garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 1/2-3 cups ice cubes

6 cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnishing

4 green onions, sliced on an angle in 1-inch pieces, for garnishing

Place cucumbers, beans, tahini, mint leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, honey, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down sides of container and then processing again.  Set soup aside in container at room temperature.

Before serving, add enough ice cubes, one at a time, and process mixture until mixture reaches the consistency of soup. Add more salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, as needed, for flavor.

Pour soup into bowls and garnish with tomatoes and onions.

Makes 4-6 servings.