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Charlie Trotter's Chilled Clear Cucumber
Soup with Watermelon, Apple and Jicama



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Chilled Clear Cucumber Soup with
Watermelon, Apple, and Jicama

Charlie Trotter's

“A preparation like this is the epitome of a summertime dish—light,
refreshing, healthful, and simple to prepare, with lots of texture and
flavor. Aside from the cool, pure, intense cucumber-flavored broth,
what I really love about this dish is the texture of all of the vegetables.
For a more substantial luncheon preparation you could easily add a
piece of cold poached salmon or some lobster meat.”

Serves 4

2 English cucumbers
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon togarashi [available in Japanese markets]
1/4 cup peeled, 1-inch-long julienned cucumber
1/4 cup peeled, 1-inch-long julienned green apple
8 teaspoons diced watermelon, seeds removed
8 teaspoons diced yellow watermelon, seeds removed
1/4 cup diced avocado
8 teaspoons diced jicama
8 teaspoons diced tomatillo
8 teaspoons Oven-Dried Tomato (recipe follows)
4 teaspoons fresh dill
4 teaspoons Dill Oil *

Cut one of the English cucumbers into eight 1-inch pieces. Using a
round cutter or a paring knife, remove the skin from the cucumber.
Hollow out the inside of the cucumber pieces using a Parisian scoop
to make 8 cups. Transfer the pulp to a blender with the remaining
cucumber and 1 teaspoon salt, and purée until smooth. Strain the
cucumber purée through 3 layers of cheesecloth, letting it sit in the
refrigerator until all of the liquid has passed through. Season with
salt if necessary and keep refrigerated until needed. Place the
cucumber cups in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring
to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and cool
completely. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, and togarashi in a
small bowl. Place the julienned cucumber and apple in a separate
small bowl and toss with the yogurt mixture.

Place 2 of the cucumber cups in the center of each bowl. Fill each cup
with some of the julienned cucumber and apple mixture. Place the diced watermelon, avocado, jicama, and tomatillo around the cucumber cups.
Ladle some of the cold cucumber broth in each bowl and sprinkle the
fresh dill on top of the broth. Drizzle 1 teaspoon Dill Oil in each bowl
and top with freshly ground pepper.

 Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Yield: about 2 cups

6 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 sprigs thyme

Lay the sliced tomatoes on a wire rack and drizzle with olive oil. Season
with salt and pepper and place the thyme on top of the tomatoes. Place
in the oven at 275 degrees for 3 hours, or until slightly firm and dry to
the touch. Remove from the rack and refrigerate until needed. May be
stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

* Dill Oil
Blanch 2 cups fresh dill in boiling salted water for 15 seconds.
Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Squeeze out the excess
water. Purée with 1 1/2 cups canola oil and 1/2 cup olive oil for
3 to 4 minutes, or until bright green. Pour into a container, cover,
and refrigerate overnight. Strain the oil through a fine sieve and
discard the solids. Refrigerate for an additional 24 hours and decant.
Refrigerate until needed.


Wine Notes - The melon influence here adds sweetness and balance to the
savory elements of cucumber and tomatillo. The wine choice should parallel
this effect. Some dry Alsatian Rieslings like Ostertag's Muenchberg or the
Herrenweg by Zind Humbrecht come close to this parallel, but more sweetness
is needed, along with high acidity, to maintain the fresh, light feel of the soup.
Mosel Rieslings offer these characteristics. Even more precisely, Saar and
Ruwer Rieslings are impressive. The great von Schubert Ruwer estate,
responsible for the exciting Maximin Gruenhaus Rieslings, makes the perfect
foil, its Abtsberg Kabinett, whose raciness and slight applelike sweetness
elevate the humble components of this soup to a sensational pleasure.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup with
Oysters and Caviar (Charlie Trotter)
Chilled Red and Yellow Tomato Soups with
Peppers, Cucumbers, Onions, and Basil


Index - Soup Recipe Archives
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