Chilled But­ter­milk Soup with Herbs

SERVES 8

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Ac­tive: 25 min. • To­tal: 45 min.

This take on okroshka, a classic sum­mer soup named af­ter the Rus­sian word kroshit, mean­ing “to crum­ble,” uses tangy ke­fir or but­ter­milk as a base and is filled with heaps of torn fresh herbs. Grated horse­rad­ish and spicy mus­tard add a gen­tle bac­knote to the soup. If you can’t find quail eggs or don’t have the pa­tience to peel them, hard­boil chicken eggs and cut them into quar­ters.

8 quail eggs 2 English cu­cum­bers (1 lb. 11 oz.), 1 diced or juli­enned, 1 finely grated 2 cups loosely packed mixed herbs such as flat-leaf pars­ley, dill, mint, sor­rel, or cel­ery leaves, plus more for gar­nish 1 qt. but­ter­milk or plain ke­fir Salt 1–2 Tbsp. freshly grated

horse­rad­ish 1–2 Tbsp. hot Rus­sian-style

mus­tard 10 radishes, juli­enned

1 Fill a small bowl with ice wa­ter and set it aside. Place the quail eggs in a small pot and add enough cold wa­ter just to cover. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a low boil. Boil for 3 min­utes, then, us­ing a slot­ted spoon, im­me­di­ately re­move the eggs from the hot wa­ter and plunge them into the ice wa­ter. Once cool, gen­tly peel. Slice in half, and re­frig­er­ate.

2 Set a fine sieve over a small bowl and add the grated cu­cum­ber; press and squeeze to ex­tract ⅔ cup juice (dis­card the solids and any re­main­ing juice).

3 In a food pro­ces­sor, add the 2 cups mixed herbs and 2 ta­ble­spoons cold wa­ter; pulse un­til finely chopped but not liq­ue­fied, 20–30 sec­onds.

4 In a large bowl, whisk the but­ter­milk with the re­served cu­cum­ber juice, horse­rad­ish, and mus­tard. Stir in the chopped herbs, sea­son the mix­ture gen­er­ously with kosher salt, and re­frig­er­ate un­til well chilled.

5 Di­vide the re­main­ing cu­cum­ber and the radishes be­tween 8 soup bowls. Add the soup, then gar­nish with the quail eggs and more herbs.

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