Cucumbers are one of those ingredients that, if it isn’t sunny so there has been little in the way of salads made to eat, sit languishing in the bottom of the fridge. At least in our house! Which makes my decision to grow some somewhat odd but I live in hope of one of those glorious summers where salads abound!
I fancied cucumber soup – a typed recipe for which I found in one of Miss Reeves’ recipe books. I checked the state of play of my cucumber plants and, hurrah, a little cucumber is growing! But.. hardly suitable for using as an ingredient – unless in a Liliputian world!
So – bottom of the salad drawer in the fridge went I and lo and behold, two pieces of cucumber languishing… Still nice and crisp with that wonderful smell that well-grown cucumbers have.
Here is the recipe from Miss Reeves’ book:
Here is the wording and how I made it:
First – lay out the ingredients- not too many and nicely simple (cucumber, chicken stock, mint, cornflour, single cream)
ICED CUCUMBER SOUP.
Peel and cube 1 cucumber – I didn’t peel mine as I don’t use chemicals on my home grown vegetables and nor does the place from where I bought the cucumbers. Besides, the peel adds a nice colour to the soup and, depending on how much you blend it, adds some texture if you like a chunky soup.
Simmer with 1 pint of chicken stock and a sprig of mint until tender – I used my home made stock (I tend to save all meat bones in the freezer and then do a mass stock making exercise on a rainy day!). The mint is home grown. I did blend mine with a stick blender so that it was fairly smooth as the skin being left on the cucumber means that the mix does not just blend together.
Blend 1 level tablespoon of cornflour with 1/2 pint single cream. I couldn’t find my cornflour so just used ordinary plain flour. It is really just to thicken the soup a bit as well as stopping the cream curdling when it goes into the hot soup.
Add to the soup, heat to boiling point, season. Chill. Serve garnished with chopped mint. I seasoned with a little salt and a fair amount of pepper – my peppercorns are red, white and black and I like the mix of colour on the top.
This is what it looks like and you ‘ll have to trust me as to the taste – wonderfully refreshing. Even if it is a little dull outside! In fact, if I close my eyes whilst eating the soup, summer is here!