Summer officially arrived last weekend. Today’s hot and muggy weather bears testament to why a chilled soup that requires almost no cooking is a perfect summer meal. Little additional heat is generated to produce this light and filling soup. Prepared in minutes, other fresh herbs such as parsley or mint can be substituted for the fresh dill.
Toss 2 large cucumbers with 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse, peel and devein 1-pound raw shrimp, the smallest you can find. Pat dry. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Add shrimp, raise the heat, and toss until they turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add 1/4 cup dry white vermouth to the skillet and boil until it is reduced to a few spoonfuls. Pour over the shrimp and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drain the prepared cucumbers, transferring them to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process briefly, then add 1 1/2-cups chilled buttermilk. Continue processing until smooth. Add 3/4-cup chopped fresh dill (or more if to your taste) and process in a spurt, about 2 seconds to disperse the dill in soup.
Pour soup into a bowl, add the reserved shrimp and their liquid. Refrigerate, covered, until very cold. Garnish with additinal chopped dill. Serve in chilled bowls. 4-6 servings.