Hot Cucumber and Tarragon Soup
Hot Cucumber and Tarragon Soup
This is my third cucumber soup from The Soup Book and the fifth recipe by Marie-Pierre Moine. She writes that cooked cucumber has a subtle flavour and combines well with the "more assertive but still delicate" tarragon. The ingredients include cucumbers, oil, butter, chopped fresh tarragon, vegetable or chicken stock, cornflour and cream cheese (this is optional and is spooned on top of the soup when serving). I had hoped to use tarragon from my front garden but my single plant has not flourished to the same extent as the parsley, sage, lovage and sorrel growing adjacent to it. The spouse wasn't able to find any tarragon when he went shopping yesterday morning, but while we were out for lunch at the Dublin Food Co-op I had a look around and found some. The Co-op was very quiet yesterday and the spouse, the younger offspring and I had a delicious and very reasonably priced meal from one of the Indian food stalls. Incidentally, the spouse is writing his own blog about eating cheaply in Dublin and bargained the stall-holder into feeding us for €5 each!
What is unusual about this cucumber soup recipe in The Soup Book is that it's for a hot soup. The other cucumber soups are chilled. I was discussing the subject of chilled soups with my sister Jay-Zo (obviously not her real name but she'll understand the reference). I could hear the squeamishness in her voice when she said, "I'm not sure about cold soups." It's understandable, but I have enjoyed the various chilled soups I've made so far. Anyway, today's soup was hot. I did most of the preparation before my mother-in-law, Juno, arrived for lunch. All I had to do was heat it up, whisk in some butter, mix in some chopped tarragon, ladle it out and top it with the cream cheese. It tasted very good and everyone enjoyed it. The rest of the lunch consisted of the spouse's delicious slow-roasted pork and accompanying vegetables, followed by an apricot and almond cake.
Sometimes I look through the recipes in The Soup Book and think, "Where am I going to get those ingredients? When am I going to make that soup?" A couple of cases in point are the lobster soup recipes. During the week one of my colleagues, "Sandy", happened to be talking about someone she knows who had offered to get her lobsters. I quickly asked her if I could buy a couple from her whenever she gets them. That's me - always thinking. The lobster recipes are for brandied lobster chowder and lobster bisque. Mmmm! I can hardly wait.
Bee about the Bush
This last week I have been struck by the number of bees making use of the lavender in the front garden and the marjoram flowers in the back garden. It's great to see them even though the older males in the family are not too sure about being to close to them.
During the week a couple of my colleagues and I were talking about bee boxes. I went looking for pictures of them on line and came across this rather beautiful piece of furniture by James Shott.
The spouse sent me a link to a photo of people wearing bee beards. I'd rather remain clean shaven, thank you.
There were a few bee-related items in yesterday's Irish Times:
At Knocksink Nature Reserve, Enniskerry, on Saturday, 13th August, there will be a wildflower walk at 11am and a guide to wild plants of benefit to butterflies and bees at 2pm. Click here for more information.
This article (Sweet meadow musing) mentions the low hum of bumblebees while Making friends in the garden focuses on a peace garden in Belfast.
That's enough for now. I'd better bee off.