I was lucky enough to be invited to Chilterns Food Magazine’s first Birthday Party at The Blue Tin Produce Farm Shop a couple of weeks ago. This publication is fabulous, it champions producers of the Chiltern Hills area, one of which is Tims Dairy, a family business located in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, and is run by brothers, Chris, Peter, Bides and Tony Timotheou. At the dairy they are passionate about making yogurt, crème fraîche and soured cream for a wide variety of market sectors including retail, wholesale, foodservice, private label and supplying fresh ingredients to food manufacturers. Founded in 1949, amazingly, they are approaching their 70th anniversary!
Why not take a look at Tims range and local stockists Tims Dairy.
I am a huge fan of Greek style yogurt, it is so versatile, protein packed, loaded with probiotics and sustaining. This yogurt is high in fat and in stark contrast from the consensus of even just 10 years ago, when we were all told to shun fat and supermarkets responded with shelves upon shelves of fat-free products. But this seems to be behind recent research and current trends – sugar has replaced fat as public enemy number one, and we’ve realised that all the fat-free and low-fat products we’d been consuming were laden with the sweet stuff to make up for the lack of fat. More and more health experts are advocates of high fat diets.
This summer soup is so easy to make, best made the day before serving as it then has a chance to chill right down. If you have trouble finding crayfish tails you could substitute with white crab meat or north Atlantic prawns but buy the ones with shells on and peel, you’ll find the flavour is so much better.
Chilled Cucumber & Crayfish Soup
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 1 Small Fennel Bulb outer layer removed and finely chopped
- 1 Small Onion finely chopped
- 1 Garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 Cucumbers peeled, deseeded and finely diced
- 550 mls Good quality vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Dill plus extra sprigs to garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Lemon balm leaves Mint works if you cant get hold of lemon balm
- 400 mls Tims Greek Style Bio-Live Yogurt
- 2 X120 g packs Crayfish Tails
- Zest of a lemon
- Chilli Oil optional
- Begin by melting the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and fennel. Sauté for 5-8 minutes or until softened but without colour. Now add the cucumber but reserve approximately 3 tablespoons to garnish with. Stir and cook gently for another five minutes. Pour in the stock and bring gently to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook for a further 5 to 6 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and add the chopped herbs and blend until very smooth. Set to one side to cool completely. Now add the yoghurt, season to taste and blend again. Chill for a least 3 to 4 hours or ideally overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve ladle the chilled soup into bowls, scatter the crayfish tails and the reserved cucumber over the top, drizzle with the chilli oil and the zest of the lemon and finally a few sprigs of dill.