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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Smoked Salmon & Dill
August 16th, 2010 @ 07:15 PM EST by admin
by Damon G. Beggs

Okay, this is just soup and maybe not enough for lunch, and certainly not enough for dinner… but serve an individual chilled shrimp cocktail alongside and this becomes a veritable feast. Be inventive; try a herbed mayonnaise with the shrimp instead of the old stale standby cocktail sauce.

1½ tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onions
4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, cut into ½ inch thick slices (about 5 cups)
1 large Russet potato, peeled, cut into ½ inch dice
3½ cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tsp salt
1 Cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato then stir 1 minute. Add broth, dill sprigs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Purée soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in ½ cup crème fraîche and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours. This can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Taste the soup, adding more salt if desired.

Remaining crème fraîche (or sour cream)
3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into ½ inch pieces

Ladle soup into bowls. Place a dollop of crème fraîche in center of each bowl. Sprinkle with smoked salmon and remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.

Konzelmann Sparkling Riesling VQA at $14.85 is perfect for a brunch including smoked salmon. Using the Charmat method, which involves secondary fermentation in pressurized tanks, gives this wine its sparkle. Made with 100% Riesling, it’s bursting with citrus fruit flavors balanced by racy acidity.

Hot and cold soups can be prepared even before you leave port, and transported in a thermos. THERMOS™ makes some great products but can get pricey… especially the larger ones that can hold hot pastas and other such foods. These are worthwhile investments if you travel a lot and like to eat on the fly. I found a very nice stainless steel vacuum thermal flask at Kitchen Stuff Plus® that holds a full litre and only costs $18. How great would it be to treat your skipper at the helm with a sandwich and a cup of soup while crossing the lake to one of your favorite destinations?

(Have a recipe or tip you would like to share? Send it to me and you might find it along with your name in a future issue.)