You can make this soup in advance, since it first has to be chilled, allowing for the flavours to fully develop. It is, for that matter, particularly tasty when topped with small pieces of smoked eel before serving.
Heat the vegetable stock and add the potatoes, onion, celery, bay and thyme. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Remove the thyme and bay. Add the cucumbers and cook for a few minutes. Purée the soup using a hand blender. Add the cream and taste, adjust seasoning, if necessary. Leave the soup to cool until used.
Briefly deep-fry the parsley in hot oil and drain on kitchen paper. Careful! It will splatter quite a lot.
Heat the soup close to boiling point, but do not boil, add the milk and beat the soup with a hand blender. Pour into bowls and serve immediately, topped with the parsley.
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