Norwegian Cucumber and Potato Soup

This refreshing hot cucumber, dill and potato soup from Norway tastes delicious served as a first course or as the main dish for a light lunch with hot crusty rolls and butter. For more decorative effect, float thin cucumber slices or curls of cucumber skin on the soup.

6 SERVINGS

1 oz. butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

4 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon flour

1 ½ pints chicken stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, or

1 teaspoon dried dill

2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and thickly sliced

8 fl. oz. sour cream

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the potatoes and fry, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, bay leaf, dill and cucumbers. Bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly.

Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup into a large, fine wire strainer held over a large mixing bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the vege- tables through the strainer until only a dry pulp is left. Discard the pulp in the strainer.

Alternatively, remove and discard the bay leaf and blend the soup in an electric blender.

Pour the soup back into the saucepan. Stir in the sour cream and return the pan to low heat. Cook the soup, stirring con stantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is hot.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup into a warmed soup tureen or individual soup bowls and serve im-mediately.

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