Granny would be proud!
With autumn approaching, what is there more comforting than a steaming pot of soup on the stove? My favourite soup (apart from Jeanne’s delicious Soupe à l’Oignon, of course) is one that my grandma always used to make. It is almost shockingly easy to prepare, the ingredients cost nearly nothing and it’s very very healthy. In fact, when I googled cucumber soup today, I found tons of diet websites adverting similar recipes. Anyhow: The recipe is not only healthy, but also very yummy, so you should go ahead and give it a try.
To elevate my Grannys dish to the next level (god, I watched too much Master Chef lately) I decided to bake two types of italian bread stick shat you can dip into the soup; one with fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt, and one with chilipepper and garlic. Together with the taste of the white wine and the fresh dill this is a vegan meal that you can even impress your carnivore friends with. If you want to spoil them even more, you can add a couple of slices of smoked salmon to each plate. It is advisable to prepare the doe before making the soup as it takes an hour to rise.
My grandma’s secret cucumber soup recipe
Ingredients (serves 4 persons):
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 shallots or 1 onion
- 1 litre of vegetable broth
- 1 glass of white wine
- a bunch of dill or watercress
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- optional: smoked salmon
- Slice the shallots/onion and the cucumber into very small cubicles
- Fry the shallots/onions in the olive oil until they start to become slightly yellow
- Add 3/4 of the chopped cucumber and stirr regularly for 5 minutes
- Add the wine and let the mixture simmer on a low temperature until the wine is reduced to approximately half its amount
- Add the broth, put a lid on and let it cook on a low temperature for circa 20 minutes (meanwhile you can turn to the bread sticks)
- Purée the soup, add the remaining peaces of cucumber, the dill, and a sip of wine and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste
Italian Grissini two ways
- 1/2 a package of fresh yeast (ca. 20g)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 400g flour
- 180 ml warm water
- 2 tbsp rosemary
- coarse sea salt
- 1 tbsp chili pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic
- Put the flour into a big bowl and make a hole in the middle
- Pour a little bit of the warm water into that hole, add a teaspoon of sugar and crumble in the yeast, then stir a bit of the flour into the foamy, bubbly mixture; let it sit for five minutes
- Next add the remaining water, a teaspoon of salt and stir the batter with a wooden spoon to mix the dry and the wet components.
- Flour your hands before you start kneading to prevent the dough from sticking to them; knead the dough with your hands, adding flour as needed until it is slightly firm to the touch but not dry. Be careful not to add too much flour otherwhise the bread sticks will become too dry; for softer bread it is okay to have stickier doe.
- Let it sit at a warm place for one hour, covering the bowl with a clean kitchen towl. I suggest letting the doe rise on your stove. When you prepare the soup next to it it will radiate heat that helps the doe rising
- Preheat the oven
- Divide the dough into little balls the size of a ping pong ball, roll each part into a pencil-like rope and place it onto a baking tray covered with baking parchment
- Oil the bread sticks and sprinkle them with either rosemary and sea salt or pepper and garlic.
- Bake the bread sticks for around 15 minutes
Tip: If you want to store the Grissini you should divide the dough into batches and add the herbs to the doe before rolling it out; also try making some bread sticks with parmesan cheese or black sesame and try them with guacamole as a healthy snack