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Chilled cucumber and dill soup

message posted 02-Jul-08 19:58:15
1l chicken stock
2 baby leeks, white part only, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
6 whole white peppercorns
2-3 parsley stalks
2¼ English cucumbers
Freshly ground salt
2 tsp arrow root
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
200ml crème fraîche
¼ red onion, very finely diced
1 tsp lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper

1 Place the chicken stock in a medium-sized pan. Bring to the boil, add the leeks, shallots, peppercorns and parsley stalks and simmer for 15 minutes.
2 Remove the skin from two of the cucumbers with a vegetable peeler. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into 1cm slices, place in a colander and season with salt. Allow to stand for 10 minutes - this will draw out any excess water or slight bitterness from the cucumber. Rinse in plenty of cold water and drain well.
3 Add the cucumber to the stock and cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the peppercorns and then press through a metal sieve or pass through a mouli.
4 Return the soup to the pan. Mix the arrowroot with the water and add to the cucumber stock. Heat gently, stirring continuously until the mixture begins to thicken, but do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the dill and crème fraîche, mixing well - you may wish to use a hand-held blender. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight to chill.
5 Prepare the red onion salsa. Finely dice the cucumber, place in a small bowl with the red onion and lemon juice and season well. Cover and chill.

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