“Stuffed cucumber soup” certainly sounds like something that shouldn’t work. But like deep-fried Oreos, cocktails with egg-whites, all various offals, and many others things in life — don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. (I’ve never actually had a deep-fried Oreo! But I wants to!)
Also the stuffing and cooking of cucumbers is highly endorsed by the magical unicorn Chrissy Teigen…so listen to her if you won’t listen to me.
Simmering cucumbers brings out their brininess and creates a beautiful, spoon-able silky texture. The mushrooms are adorable and woodsy, the chicken filling gingery and warm with garlic, the noodles add a filling toothsome bite.
It’s a wonderful soup to make on a wintry day where you’re craving spicy nourishment to warm your belly..BUT want to be on healthy side of things ..AND want to try something a little new and different.
Stuffed Cucumber Soup
- 1 LB ground Chicken
- 1 tsp each Salt, Pepper, Chinese 5-spice
- 1 TB Ginger freshly grated
- 1 TB Soy Sauce
- 5 Garlic cloves diced
- 1 Shallot diced
- 4 large Cucumbers peeled. The fatter & bigger the better.
- 2 ounces Enoki mushrooms or other cute small shroomie
- 1 Onion diced
- 8 cups Chicken stock
- 2-4 TB Sambal Oelek chili paste to taste
- 1 TB Miso paste
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce optional
- 2 bundles Soba noodles about 6 ounces total
- Scallions, Cilantro, slivered Garlic, Lime, Rice Vinegar for topping
Halve each of the cucumbers through the middles. Using a long butter knife scoop out the innards of each, scraping well and removing all the seeds 'til you have a nice hollow cucumber cave.
In a large bowl mix all the stuffing ingredients 'til combined. With a small spoon begin stuffing each of the cucumber halves, bumping them on the counter to help get the air out and pack the filling in well.
Once the cukes are well-filled, refrigerate them. (I like to then put them in the freezer on a tray to help the filling set but it's not vital and if your freezer is bursting don't worry about it). Depending on the size of the cukes there might be a good amount of leftover chicken mix. Make some quick mini meatballs to drop into the soup. Set these aside as well.
Get a large dutch oven going over med-high heat with a light slick of oil or butter. Saute the onion 5 minutes, til it starts turning translucent. Add the mushrooms, they're very delicate -- just look for a bit of browning. Remember to season as things go into the pot.
Stir in the sambal, miso, fish sauce, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Take the cukes out of the fridge and slice each into 2-3 pieces to make them more manageable for serving later. Slide the cucumbers and mini meatballs in, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the soba noodles and simmer for another ten minutes.
To serve, ladle up big bowlfuls and give each serving a scattering of chopped scallions and herbs, and a swirl of rice vinegar or lime juice for brightness.