It’s funny how our minds free-associate and link favorite foods together. For example, when I think of tomatoes, basil quickly comes to mind. And when I think of cucumbers, I think of dill. And, now that dill and cucumbers are returning to the market, it’s time to re-visit one of my favorites: Dill and Cucumber Soup.
My version of the timeless cucumber soup includes a healthy amount of yogurt - which provides a perfect counterpoint to the fresh, lightness of cucumber and dill. These bright, clean flavors perk up the appetite and perfectly prepare the palate for the satisfying earthiness of the king salmon – grilled, baked, or poached.
On those occasions when fresh salmon isn’t my planned entrée, smoked salmon is a great alternative. A lovely platter of chilled salmon, a little cream cheese, a few slices of red onion, some pumpernickel or rye bread, a few radishes for vegetable variety… and I’ve got an easy dinner.
I’ve also garnished my soup with lovely slices of cucumber dabbed with tiny spoonfuls of inexpensive Tabiko caviar or other non-fertilized salmon eggs – plus a perky feather of fresh dill. Absolutely fabulous.
Since I rarely tire of the dill and cucumber combination, I’ve planted my own dill seeds which are now sprouting - and my cucumber plants are on their way up. Oh, boy, it’s going to be a great summer!
This year, I think I’ll take up fishing… more on salmon later.
Dill and Cucumber Soup
From Soup A to Z, A traveling chef’s little black book of secrets
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced or grated
3 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced
2 Tbsp. scallion, chopped
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups defatted chicken stock (approx.)
Place the cucumbers in a bowl with the dill, scallions,the salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil; combine well.
Fold in the yogurt and thin with enough stock to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasoning, add more lemon juice if necessary.
Chill thoroughly. Garnish with fresh mint or dill. Serves 4 to 6~~
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Lately I’ve been working long hours on a multitude of projects and deadlines and my cooking has been fast and furious. As so often happens in the throes of craziness, I had a fortuitous moment of enlightenment. This time it happened when I fell into a heap of quinoa.