Monday, June 25, 2007

Cold Cucumber Velouté for Concentration

In these past few weeks I have been trying extra hard to keep my eye on the ball. I have had to struggle to keep focused. I work so much better when I can take the work into the center of my mind's eye and live it straight. There are times for self scrutiny and there are times to just dive right in and go. This is one of those times I need to dispense with the agonizing.

When I am in need of clarity of mind, there are things I can do. The first thing is to do something physical in the morning, climbing steps or riding my bike to shed all the chatter and tune in to work station in my mind. Exercise has always been a good way of working through the excess energy that might interfere with my concentration. It makes me feel good too.

Something also that makes a big difference in my ability to concentrate is what goes in my mouth. Forget the evening cocktail when I am working on a project - save the party for when it's done! Coffee intake must go down. Forget the Diet Coke, it just sends me into a hyperactive tailspin. Forget busying myself in the kitchen with fatty heavy things that are going to weigh me down physically. I am nourished, with light things that won't interfere with my brain's activity. It's nice to be a little bit hungry when you're working to a distant goal and you know that only with diligence and discipline will you arrive.

This soup is perfect for times like this, and also a very nice summer palate cleanser.

Cold Cucumber Velouté

2 large cucumbers
1.5 cups cold mixed poultry stock which has been made with a sage bouquet, all fat removed
1 stalk of celery, minced fine
1 spring onion
a small handful of fresh fennel
chervil to taste
a few sorrel leaves
2T. white vinegar of your choice
salt to taste (cold things need more salt)
white pepper
olive oil (optional)

Peel the cucumbers, mince the onion, fennel, sorrel and chervil, leaving some aside for the garnish. Mix everything but the finely minced onions and dill to a smooth puree in the blender or with the stick blender in a bowl and then stir in the minced onions. Chill thoroughly before serving. If you want to, you can a add a drizzle of good olive oil or garnish with razor thin slices of cucumber when serving. A shortcut to getting a nice cold soup immediately is to use frozen stock. But if it rests for awhile it tastes better. This is one of those better on the second day soups.

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Blogger Jann said...

I love your approach to all the troulbed daily hassels~you have it all down to a science and I admire that quality. Maybe I should make some of this delicious soup very quickly!

1:36 AM, June 26, 2007  
Blogger Lucy said...

A clean soup to clear the mind.

Beautiful. Wonderful idea about the use of a frozen stock.

5:45 AM, June 27, 2007  
Anonymous Ali said...

Remember when i first got to France and we went shopping, i was going to buy those boxes of soup - you told me not to buy them and that i should make my own. I thought you were absolutely mad! Now i wouldn't dream of it! Love and miss you! Ali

8:37 PM, July 01, 2007  

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