Cream of Cucumber Soup--Julia Child
4 large cucumbers for the soup base
2 tsp wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1-2 cups sliced onions, depending on how strong an onion flavor you wish.
2 Tbs butter
4 cups water
1/2 cup raw white rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup or so sour cream, optional
Decoration: 1 small cucumber cut into very thin slices, with green skin on and minced fresh dill or parsley.
Before starting the soup, peel the 4 large cucumbers, chop roughly, and toss with the vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let stand until the soup base has simmered for 15 minutes.
Saute the onions slowly in the butter for 7-8 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the rice and liquid; simmer for about 20 minutes. Then turn the cucumbers and their juices into the soup and simmer 5 minutes more. Puree; whisk in the optional sour cream. Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls, and top each serving with 3 or 4 cucumber slices and a big pinch of minced dill or parsley.
Note from Rachel: I used my immersion blender to puree the soup; it was exceptionally fast. I also didn't add the sour cream because I thought it would mask the delicate flavor of the soup. It was creamy despite the lack of cream. Also, if the seeds in your cucumber are exceptionally big, you may want to discard them before adding them to the soup. I didn't and the soup had an occasional hard bit of seed floating around. I love the flavor of dill and cucumbers and I thought the two flavors mingled perfectly together. Don't be afraid of too big a pinch. I didn't have fresh dill, so I used dried.