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Cucumber

Pickle

 

Makes 1 medium-sized jar

Ingredients:
half a cucumber (about 350g)
1 medium red onion, very finely sliced
about 2 tbsp sea salt
240ml white wine vinegar
120ml cider vinegar
180g light brown sugar
a quarter tsp ground cloves
a quarter tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 sterilised jar

 

Wash and thinly slice the cucumbers (about 5 millimetres thick).

 

Halve the red onion and finely slice.

 

Combine the cucumbers and onion in a bowl and sprinkle over the salt. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

 

Drain the vegetables and rinse well. Leave to drain, pressing down to remove any excess water.

 

Combine the vinegar, sugar and spices in a non-reactive stainless steel saucepan. Gently heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.

 

Add the drained vegetables and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 1 minute.

 

Remove the vegetables (with a slotted spoon) to the sterilised jar.

 

Gently simmer the remaining syrup for about 5 minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced.

 

Pour the liquid over the vegetables in the jam jar.

 

Cover with a suitable (plastic-lined) lid.

 

They are ready to eat within a day and will store in the fridge for about 3 weeks.

Soup

This recipe is taken from The Telegraph Weekend magazine and is part of a series Delia is contributing.

 

Method

To prepare for this, chop the cucumber into chunks (thankfully no need to peel) and the same with the potato. Slice the spring onions (including the green part), while the lettuce leaves can just be separated and washed, and the leaves torn.

Now in a medium-size saucepan melt the butter and add all the prepared vegetables, stirring them around a bit. Then, keeping the heat low, pop a lid on and let them sweat gently for 10 minutes.

After that pour in the stock, season and, after a couple of stirs, bring it back to a gentle simmer. Put the lid back on so it can simmer gently for another 20 minutes. When the time is up, use a stick blender to purée the soup, making sure there are no escaped bits of cucumber that the blades didn’t catch – it will finish up a magnificent fresh green colour, very pretty.

Reheat gently and serve in warm soup bowls with some cream swirled into each one and a few chives sprinkled over. 


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