Summer cucumber soup with crème fraîche dusted with shichimi pepper

4
1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Cucumber soup

  • 300g of cucumber
  • 100g of celeriac
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, whole
  • 50g of watercress
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, organic, or butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt

Dashi

  • kombu, 1 postcard-sized piece
  • 800ml of water, filtered is possible

To garnish

  • 4 dollops of crème fraîche
  • shichimi pepper, for dusting
  • chives, to decorate

Method

1
To begin, make the mizudashi. Gently clean the dashi kombu with a slightly damp cloth. Leave the white powdery film as it contributes to the umami flavor in the dashi. Never wash the kombu under running water
2
Make a couple of incisions in the kombu. Put water and kombu in a large bowl and let it steep overnight in the refrigerator, at around 5°C. Remove the kombu and the dashi is ready to use
3
Alternatively, you could use the cooking method for the dashi, which is quicker if you don't have time for overnight soaking. Gently clean the dashi kombu with a slightly damp cloth, again leaving on the powdery film
4
Place in a pan with the water over a low heat. Just before the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu and switch off the heat. It's ready to use. Dashi will keep in the fridge for 3–7 days or in the freezer for 3 weeks
5
Dice the cucumber and peel the celeriac before cutting into cubes. Slice the spring onions (including the green part) and add pat-dry the watercress
6
In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil or butter and add all of the vegetables, stirring around to coat evenly in the fat. Keeping the heat low, cover and allow to sweat gently for 10 minutes
7
Now pour in the dashi, season with salt and pepper and bring it back to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan and simmer gently for another 20 minutes, season with lemon juice then leave to cool for 15–20 minutes
8
Blitz the soup in a blender to form a smooth purée. Divide between bowls, add a dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle over the chives and shichimi pepper