Cucumber Bites & Soup

CHILDREN'S RECIPE: Crispy Cucumber Bites with Sunflower Butter and Rice Crispies

2 english cucumbers sliced into planks
1c sunflower seed butter (homemade or store bought)
1/2c honey
1c puffed wild rice from soup preparation
Cool shaped plastic ring molds

Method of Preparation:
The idea here is to have the kids use cool shaped cutters to make the cucumber bites.

First punch the cucumber sheets with ring cutters and place cut cucumbers into a bowl of ice water. Drain cucumber pieces and dry. 

Spoon a small amount of the sunflower seed butter on each cucumber and top with a generous amount of the puffed rice. Drizzle with a little local honey and serve

FAMILY RECIPE: Chilled Cucumber Soup with Puffed Wild Rice

1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and 2in dice
1 ¼ quarts water
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ quarts of cucumber trim
1 sprig thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2c basil leaves

Puffed Wild Rice
2 cups of neutral vegetable oil
1/2c dry wild rice

Method of Preparation:
In a large pot, sweat the shallots, leeks and onions in butter until completely soft. Add the diced potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring the water to a simmer and add the thyme and bay leaf then cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the cream and simmer another 10 minutes.

Add the soup to the blender and purée until smooth.

Cut the cucumber trim into chunks, combine with basil leaves and put through a juicer; you should have at least 1½ cups juice When the soup is cold, whisk in the cucumber and basil juice and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil over med/high heat until it reaches 400 degrees fahrenheit. Be sure to use a tall sided pot (2qt sauce pot works best) when the oil is at your desired temperature sprinkle the raw wild rice into the oil and let it puff for 20-30 seconds. Strain the oil from the rice and place the rice on an absorbent paper towel to remove the excess oil, season with salt

Ladle 6-8 oz of soup into your serving bowls and sprinkle with puffed rice and chopped basil