"This cooling soup is ideal on those humid summer days when you need an inner-calming tonic, too," says Sean Moran of Sean's in Bondi, Sydney. "Make it either the day prior to serving or early enough for it to chill. Embellish with whatever seafood you prefer, like smoked flakes of trout or salmon, crabmeat, barbecued prawns, seared scallops or oysters and all their briny juices. If you're vegetarian, it's equally satisfying served on its own."
- 100 ml olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 10 (1.4 kg) Lebanese cucumbers, 9 peeled (peel reserved) and thickly sliced, remaining half-peeled, thinly sliced, covered and chilled
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 litre (4 cups) fish or vegetable stock cup
- ⅔ cup (loosely packed) dill, plus extra finely chopped to serve
- 250 gm sour cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
- Large pinch of caster sugar
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced chives
- 50 gm salmon roe (optional)
- Sourdough bread and butter, to serve
- 1Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until softened (10-12 minutes). Add thickly sliced cucumber, lemon zest, stock and two-thirds dill, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cucumber is soft (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat and cool briefly, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, whisk sour cream and egg yolks together in a separate bowl, then whisk into soup. Cool to room temperature (2-3 hours).
- 2Meanwhile, combine remaining cucumber with a large pinch of salt in a small bowl and stand until liquid seeps out (30 minutes). Squeeze excess liquid from cucumber.
- 3Add parsley and cucumber skins to blender with 250ml soup. Blend until smooth, then pour into remaining soup. Add sugar, season to taste with salt and chill (1-2 hours).
- 4Ladle soup into bowls, top with salted cucumber, chives and salmon roe, and serve with bread and butter.
Drink suggestion: A soft riesling with a dry finish, such as the 2018 Grosset Alea Riesling from the Clare Valley. Drink suggestion by Beverley Woods.