Often Omi would bake cucumbers with butter in the oven and serve them warm at the table, strewn with dill and a splash of vinegar, and this soup I suppose is my spoon version of that – perfect for those cooler summer days that catch you out, wishing you had something warm and comforting to eat.
It’s delicate in flavour – you can add some garlic to the soup at the same time as the chives to pack a punch, but I prefer it without.
It may sound odd to cook a cucumber because we are so used to eating them cold, just as they are or in a salad, but it works and it’s worth giving it a go.
– 2 large cucumbers, peeled
– 80g unsalted butter
– 3 tbsp plain flour
– 1 lt vegetable stock, hot
– 4 tbsp vinegar from a jar of gherkins (or 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar)
– 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus extra for sprinkling
– Fine sea salt, to taste
– 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving
– 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed (not ground)
1. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds, then cut them into thin slices.
2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan, and once bubbling add the flour. Stir and allow to brown just slightly, then add the stock.
3. Whisk to avoid lumps, bring to the boil, then add
4. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 6 minutes, until the cucumber slices are translucent and tender. Now add the vinegar and chives.
5. Blitz the soup using a hand-held blender or a food processor, or pass it through a mouli – be careful, as it may splash out and is very hot. Taste and season accordingly.
6. Stir in the dill, then divide the soup between your bowls.
7. Serve with a sprinkling of chives, dill and pink peppercorns.
Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings is a cookbook about Germany’s varied culinary heritage
seen through the eyes of Anja Dunk’s family recipes, most of which have been given a new life in her young family kitchen.
Anja was born in Wales to a German mother and a Welsh father. Her childhood was spent predominantly in Wales but also in Germany and South East Asia, where she moved to and from over the early years of her life.