Chilled Cucumber Soup with Smoked Salmon & Dill

Perfect for Mother's Day
It seems that I’m on a chilled soup kick lately. I’m not sure why ~ it’s still in the high 60’s, low 70’s here at the beach. Maybe it’s because I’m still a little burnt out from the whole Soup Party prep and execution. This year’s event took the spit out of me for some reason!

I love this cold cucumber soup; it requires some cooking, but it’s really easy to prepare, and it’s delicious. I top it with a dollop of crème fraîche and flaked smoked salmon. It would be a great soup to make for Mother’s Day!

I happen to have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer, so I’ll use that. You could use “doctored up” canned broth (see Mushroom Soup recipe from a few weeks ago). If you’re going dairy-free, I suggest using the butter-flavored grape seed oil, and then use the smoked salmon without the crème fraîche.
Be sure to allow enough time for this soup to cool (I suggest overnight).

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Smoked Salmon & Dill

1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into ½-inch dice
3 ½ cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon (or more) salt
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
3 ounces smoked salmon, flaked or cut into ½-inch pieces

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 7 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 5 minutes. 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 20-25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in processor 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. (Can be made 1-2 days ahead. Keep chilled.) Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Place dollop of crème fraîche in center of each bowl; sprinkle with smoked salmon and remaining minced dill.

Makes 6 servings
from Bon Appétit
August 2003

I’ll be away for the week-end, but I’ve gotten a few requests for clay pot roasted and grilled chicken recipes that I’ll have for you next week! Happy Cooking!

Lisa

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