Cucumber Soup with Mint

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

A white sauce can be used as part of the liquid in a soup recipe. It provides the thickening agent and gives a rich smooth flavour. Cream soups made from salad vegetables like lettuce and cucumber are often prepared in this way. This recipe has mint added for flavour. Serve it hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 60 g/2 oz butter
  • 3–4 sprigs fresh mint
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 3 dl/½ pint milk
  • ½ onion
  • bay leaf
  • 25 g/1 oz flour
  • 4 dl/¾ pint chicken stock
  • 2–3 tablespoons single cream
  • freshly chopped mint

    Method

    Peel the cucumbers, slice in half lengthways and remove the centre seeds. Chop the cucumbers up and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well. Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a saucepan, add the cucumber, the sprigs of mint, sugar and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

    Meanwhile infuse the milk with the onion and bay leaf for about 15 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over the heat for a minute and then gradually stir in the strained milk. Beat well and bring up to the boil to make a smooth sauce. When the cucumbers are tender, add the chicken stock and the sauce to the pan. Stir and bring up to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.

    Using a fork, remove the stalks of mint. Pass the soup through a food mill or purée in a blender. Return to the saucepan, check the seasoning and reheat. Stir in the cream and sprinkle with chopped mint before serving.