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Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup with
Oysters and Caviar




"Of soup and love, the first is best."
~ Spanish Proverb

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Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup with
Oysters and Caviar

Kitchen Sessions
with Charlie Trotter

by Charlie Trotter, 1999, Ten Speed Press

“This dish is especially refreshing on a warm summer day. It goes together
very quickly because there is no cooking involved.; the cucumbers, yogurt,
and a little lemon juice are simply blended together. Shrimp or salmon can
be added for a more lavish presentation or to provide more substance. For
a wonderful vegetarian first course, omit the oysters and add a couple of
additional vegetables.”

Serves 4

2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 small yellow tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Hot and Sour Cucumbers (recipe follows)
16 small oysters, shucked
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon caviar
2 tablespoons radish sprouts [other sprouts could
be substituted]
2 teaspoons dill sprigs
4 teaspoons Dill Oil (recipe follows)

Method – To prepare the soup: Purée the cucumbers, yogurt, and
lemon juice until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare the tomato: Toss the diced tomato with the olive oil and
season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assembly – Stir the soup and ladle into 4 shallow bowls. Place some
of the diced tomato in the center of each bowl and arrange some of
the Hot and Sour Cucumbers at 4 points around the tomatoes. Place
an oyster on each mound of cucumbers and top each oyster with 1
teaspoon of the caviar. Sprinkle a few of the radish sprouts around
the bowls. Sprinkle the dill sprigs on the soup and drizzle the Dill Oil
around the bowls. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Wine Notes – This refreshing soup requires an equally refreshing wine.
The key to finding the right wine for this dish is marching the oysters and
caviar, and the crisp acidity and mineral flavors of a Chablis are perfect.
Either the Moreau Chablis “Vaillons” or a Sancerre by Lucien Crochet
would do the trick.

Hot and Sour Cucumbers

Yield: about 3 cups

"These cucumbers hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For
spicier cucumbers, add a minced habanero chile pepper."

2 cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 jalapeño, chopped
6 ounces thinly sliced red onion
3 ounces thinly sliced fennel
1/2 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

Method – Scrape the seeds from the cucumbers, discard the seeds,
and thinly slice the cucumber. Place the bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, and
jalapeño in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and cool.
Combine the cucumbers, onion, fennel, peppercorns, and cooled
vinegar mixture and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Dill Oil

Yield: 1 cup

2 cups fresh dill
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup olive oil

Method – Blanch the dill in boiling salted water for 15 seconds.
Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Squeeze out the excess
water. Puree with the canola and olive oils 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.

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