Regional Recipe of the Quarter: Cucumber and Potato Soup (South Africa)
With a small, sharp knife, peel the cucumbers and slice them lengthwise into halves. Scoop out and discard the seeds by running the tip of a teaspoon down the center of each half, then grate the cucumbers coarsely and set them aside.
Combine the potatoes, onions and chicken stock in a heavy 2- to 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and onions are soft enough to be mashed easily against the sides of the pan. Puree contents of pan in food processor. Return to saucepan and add reserved cucumbers, scallions, gherkin, mint leaves, parsley, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Pour in the milk and, stirring constantly, cook over moderate heat for a few minutes to heat the soup through.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until thoroughly chilled, and serve cold. Just before serving garnish with a heaping tablespoon of sour cream, additional chopped parsley, gherkins and scallions.
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