Recipe Summary :
Difficulty : Medium
Active time : 2 hrs 1/2
Start to finish : 12 hrs
Yield : 10 servings
- 3 large seedless cucumbers (usually plastic-wrapped; 3 pounds total), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 small russet (baking) potato (1/4 pound)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 celery rib, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (3-inch) fresh thyme sprig
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons saltScallop and Sole Mousselines
- 1/2 lb sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
- 1/2 lb sole fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon lightly beaten egg white
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- Special equipment: parchment paper; 10 (2-oz) metal timbale molds (2 inches in diameter)
How to cook :
Cook cucumbers in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water , uncovered, just until water returns to a boil, about 1 minute, then immediately drain in a colander and transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain cucumbers well, then purée in 2 batches in a blender until as smooth as possible, about 1 minute, transferring to a bowl.
Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme in butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add potato, 4 cups water, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, partially covered, until potato is very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and thyme.
Purée mixture in batches in blender until very smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Chill, uncovered, until completely cool, about 30 minutes.
Stir cucumber purée into potato purée and force soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.
Stir remaining teaspoon salt into soup, then reheat in a bowl in a microwave or in a saucepan on stovetop over low heat (microwaving is best because it preserves the soup’s bright green color). Put 1 mousseline in each of 10 shallow soup bowls and pour warm soup around each.
Cooks’ note: Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.
Scallop and Sole Mousselines
Rinse scallops and sole and pat dry, then purée in a food processor until very smooth. Force purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, scraping bottom of sieve as needed.
Set metal bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, then add egg white to purée and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. Add cream 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated. (Mousseline should be the consistency of soft mashed potatoes; if it becomes runny or separates, stop adding cream and chill mixture, covered — still in ice bath — until firmer, about 30 minutes. Then continue adding cream.) Cover bowl and chill mixture 8 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (~180°C).
Cut out 10 rounds of parchment paper to line bottoms of molds and 10 rounds to line tops of molds, using 1 timbale mold as a guide. Brush molds with some melted butter and line bottom of each with a round of parchment. Chill molds 5 minutes (to set butter), then brush paper and sides of molds again with more melted butter.
Stir salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives, and dill into mousseline, then divide among molds (they will be about two-thirds full). Rap molds on counter once or twice to settle mixture, then put a buttered parchment round, buttered side down, on surface of each mousseline. Put molds in an 8-inch square or round baking pan (2 inches deep) and bake in a hot water bath in oven until mousselines are just set and springy to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool mousselines in molds on a rack until warm, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a large plate and pat dry with paper towels before transferring to soup bowls.
Cooks’ note: Mousselines can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely in molds, then chilled in molds, covered. Bring to room temperature, then reheat in a hot water bath in oven about 15 minutes.
a White wine : a DO Penedes (Spain) - Loxarel Gaia - 2005 - Sauvignon Blanc - This wine is powerful, perfumed, with musky notes and aromas that remind Valerian. Later, exotic fruit fragrances appear. Harmonious, perfect balance between the acidity and the alcohol. The aftertaste leaves a pleasant trace that invites us to repeat ! This light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc can be enjoyed as an aperitif and also matches fish in white sauce, vegetable soup and hard cheese.
(photo by: George Whiteside)