Sunday, August 7, 2016

Diana Henry's Hungarian Chilled Cucumber & Dill Soup and Four More Favorite Diana Henry Soup Recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This coming week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we have the wonderful Diana Henry as our Monthly Featured Chef. That means this week we can make any of her recipes and/or share past Diana Henry recipes. We cooked with Diana back in October 2014 through March 2015 and she is one of my favorites. Her cookbooks are gorgeous, her food delicious, and she is a travel lover who has lots of globally diverse recipes. If you aren't familiar, you owe it to check her out--in addition to her cookbooks, she has plenty of recipes online--especially in the U.K. and on her website.

Her Hungarian Chilled Cucumber & Dill Soup can be found online and there is a version in her cookbook, Plenty. I have made similar soups in the past but had two cucumbers I wanted to use up and I love how cooling this soup sounded for a humid summer day. 

I did make a few changes to the recipe--making it vegan by switching out the stock and dairy and I also have no flour (of any kind) on hand currently (whoops!), so I added more potato to compensate for thickening--so it ends up being gluten-free as well. Changes are noted below in red.

Hungarian Cucumber & Dill Soup 
Adapted from Diana Henry via The Telegraph & Plenty
(Serves 4)

5g (1 oz) butter (I used vegan *butter*)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced (I left mine unpeeled)
50g (1 3/4 oz) potato, peeled and diced (I used about 3.5 oz)
1 1/2 Tbsp plain flour (I omitted & used extra potatoes)
300ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock (I used light veggie stock)

sea salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest + juice to taste
25g (1 oz) dill, chopped, plus extra sprigs to serve
150ml (5 fl oz) milk (I used almond milk)
2 Tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream (I used cashew cream)

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and add the onion, cucumber and potato. Cook gently for four minutes, then add a splash of water, cover and sweat over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft but not coloured. Keep an eye on it to make sure the onions are moist and don't catch and burn –it may need another splash of water. 

Stir in the flour and cook for a further two minutes over a gentle heat, still stirring, then add the chicken stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. The vegetables should be completely soft. Stir in the lemon zest (and juice) and leave to cool. Purée with the chopped dill, milk and crême fraîche. Taste for seasoning. Chill before serving. 

If you are making this in advance and need to refrigerate it overnight, you might have to add more milk (and adjust the seasoning) just before serving, in case the soup has turned a little solid. Serve with sprigs of dill on top.

Notes/Results: I really liked this soup--it is ultra-creamy but not heavy and the flavor is light and tangy with the lemon and the dill. The cucumber is present but the dill is definitely the star. The recipe called for just lemon zest but I added juice because I like the extra brightness it added. There are some soups that work both warm and cold but this one is so much better when chilled--the flavors stand out much more. I think it would be lovely served for lunch with smoked salmon or cucumber sandwiches, or for a starter to a dinner with poached or grilled salmon. I would happily make it again.

As always, I like to share some of my top favorite recipes from our Monthly Featured Chef and I had many cooking with Diana. (Here's my official round up when we said 'goodbye' and switched to our next chef.) I thought since it's a soup post, this time I would concentrate on the soups that we cooked together.

My favorite soup had to be Diana's Moroccan Lentil Soup with Yogurt & Chilli-Fried Onions. So many layers of flavor and the chilli-fried onions are delicious and possibly addicting. I still think about them and this soup.

A close second was Diana's Niçoise Vegetable Stew with Rouille (With Fish or Without).
This soup has so fun flavor--like sunshine in a bowl and the garlicky rouille sauce sort of melts into the warm broth of the soup and gives it a silkiness and a big punch of flavor.

I made Diana's Eastern Broth with Lime and Herbs after we cooked with her and added spiralized carrot noodles to it. The broth has terrific flavor and it swell balanced. It made for a light and delicious dish.

Diana's Pea and Cilantro Soup with Red Chili Cream livens up a basic pea soup with cilantro and cumin and the topping of the chili cream--I used coconut creamer for mine. I added fried corn tortilla strips to the top for a little crunch.

Linking my soup up at I Heart Cooking Clubs Monthly Featured Chef Event post. You can see what Diana Henry recipes everyone made by clicking on the picture links on the post.  

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this yummy-looking Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad, saying, "Speaking of heat – here is a salad that mixes hot and cold ingredients that’s easy to make and bursts with flavor. So many complimentary ingredients but I learned a lesson – just make the amount you want to eat for one meal. It’s easy enough to recreate another night but doesn’t hold over all that well."

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach tried these Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Made with Mayo Instead of Butter and says, "Anthony and I both thought these tasted almost the same as when made with butter except that there was a slight sweet taste to it. We both said we’d rather stick with butter, but mayo would be good for anyone who wouldn’t mind a slightly sweet grilled cheese sandwich."

We have a new face at Souper Sundays (Thanks Tina!), Louise of Soup, Soup Glorious Soup (with a blog name like that, you know we will get along!), blogging from Australia. Louise made Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup and says, "Master Soup is currently vegan. It's not my choice. I've fully supported him being vegetarian for some years, but vegan is harder - especially for a non-vegan cook. A good lentil soup is always a thing of joy though and this one is lush and creamy because of the coconut cream." Welcome Louise!

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares two salads this week, the first is this version of Ellie Krieger's Curried Chicken Salad. Pam says, "Thanks to a well stocked fridge and pantry, I had everything I needed to make this salad! I love the combination of grapes, almonds and cilantro.  The dressing is made with yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder. This would make an excellent salad for those of you that take a lunch to work. Or if like me you work from home, this was even better the next day. Just right before serving scoop it out onto a bed of greens." 

About her Heirloom Tomato Salad Pam says, "I have loved tomatoes for as long as I can remember. I remember as a child at my Aunt’s house, eating them like apples, still warm from the sun. Seeds and juice running down my arm. ... For this salad, I just thinly sliced some tomatoes, scalloped them all pretty, drizzled with some good olive oil, and my Garlic Blossom Vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper and sprinkled with some baby basil leaves. I let it marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Delightful."

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week!

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. How did I miss the Nicoise Vegetable Stew - I want that so much for my lunch today. I did bring leftovers but this would hit the spot right now.
    Great idea using extra potatoes instead of flour to thicken things up with the Cucumber and Dill soup.

    Oh, I saw Louise's soup and thought she HAS to join your soup party! I love her blog and I love your Souper Sundays.

  2. Thanks so much to Tina for letting me know about Souper Sundays. And thank you Deb for the kind introduction. I'm looking forward to meeting more soup lovers (I don't mind a nice salad or sandwich either) through many Souper Sundays. I'm interested in making your black bean soup from last week soon- I bought some tinned black beans yesterday to have on standby. The cucumber and dill soup sounds good, I would like it cold, and I certainly would like it with smoked salmon- either as a topping, or on the side on a sandwich or toast. I don't think I've heard of Diana Henry before but that Moroccan Lentil Soup really speaks to me...

    1. Thank you Louise! Very happy to have you! ;-) The Moroccan Lentil Soup is really yummy--those chili-fried onions make it special.

  3. Another lovely soup! Your changes to the recipe using what you have sounds great! Using almond milk is something that I have never tried before. All the other soups that you've made looks wonderful, especially the Moroccan Lentil Soup! Wonderful round-up of Souper Sundays!

  4. I could happily eat soup every day of the week. You've shared a nice variety of flaovrs and textures. I've pinned it to my Soup and Sandwich board.

  5. So many lovely soups in all colors and flavors. This is soup heaven. I like your adaptations to make the cucumber soup a vegetarian one. Very informative!

  6. Well, I don't know if my last comment showed up. I love all the flavor combos in this soup. I will definitely have to try this one out.


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