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3 April, 2017 02:43:43 PM
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Thomasina Miers’ summer soup recipe

Independent Online/ theguardian
Thomasina Miers’ summer soup recipe

In summer, there are few more refreshing dishes than a chilled soup – so long as it’s hot and sunny, that is. The velvety potatoes and sweet leeks in a vichyssoise, for instance, combine to make a pretty sensual eating experience, though here I’ve reverted to Delia’s old take on the classic that I used to make ages ago, in which lemongrass adds an exotic touch; my version also features cucumber and lime, for freshness. The green bean salad, meanwhile, is inspired by regular trips to east London’s Turkish restaurants, and is currently one of my favourite things to eat.

Lemongrass, cucumber and coriander vichyssoise
A wonderfully subtle soup that’s as at home as a smart first course as it is as light summer lunch. Serves four.

850ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 large bunch fresh coriander, picked
2 sticks lemongrass, outer layers peeled and reserved, inner core finely chopped
30g unsalted butter
1 leek, green part finely sliced, white part finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 potatoes (about 300g), peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
150ml milk
½ cucumber, finely chopped, plus a handful or two extra to serve
The juice of ½ lime 
Ice cubes, to serve

Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan with the coriander stalks and outer layers of lemongrass, then take off the heat and leave to infuse.

Melt half the butter in a small frying pan, fry the green leek slices until softened and just turning golden, then set aside. They’ll be used as a fine garnish for the soup.

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Heat the remaining butter and the oil in a large saucepan, stir in the chopped lemongrass, white parts of the leeks and the potatoes, then leave to sweat gently on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, fry for a minute, then add the infused stock, milk and three-quarters of the coriander leaves. Season, bring up to simmering point, then simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Leave the soup to cool a little, then stir in the cucumber and lime juice.

Tip the soup into a food processor or blender, whizz as smooth as can be, then strain into a bowl and leave to cool. Once the soup is cold, cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill until you are ready to eat.

Ladle the soup into four bowls (it’s a good idea to chill them first; I like to use glass ones), then add a cube or two of ice to each portion. Finely chop the rest of the coriander leaves and scatter on top with the reserved fried leeks and cucumber, and serve at once.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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