Chilled Cucumber and Crayfish Soup

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

Wonderful on a hot summer’s day, and easy to prepare, this soup is best eaten as soon as it is made.


  • 1 cucumber (weighing about 450 g/1 lb)
  • 20 live crayfish
  • 600 ml/1 pint fish stock
  • 150 ml/¼ pint dry white wine
  • 10 g/¼ oz fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 150 ml/¼ pint double cream
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


    Bring the fish stock and white wine to the boil. Remove the intestinal tract from the crayfish by pinching the middle section of the tail between your fingers, then twist and pull. Plunge the crayfish into the boiling stock and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the crayfish and allow to cool. When cold, remove the meat from the tails and put to one side. Crush all the heads and shells, return these to the stock and continue to boil until only half of the stock remains. Strain the stock to remove the shells, then pass the stock through muslin. Return to the boil and reduce by half again – only a quarter of the original volume should remain.

    Cut about 50 g/2 oz of the cucumber into very small dice and put to one side. Remove and discard the seeds from the remaining cucumber and roughly chop up the flesh. Place the cucumber, dill and the reduced stock in a food processor and blend until smooth. Rub the purée through a sieve.

    Stir the cream and the yoghurt into the soup and season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Leave the soup to stand in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to chill.