Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer Soup

kesäkeitto / snålsoppa

summer soup

It's been a while since I featured a really really Finnish dish on this blog, bilberry pies aside. This is a somewhat controversial one, I think mostly because either the thought of vegetables in boiled milk puts you off, or it doesn't. (Insta-poll of six Finns in their mid-twenties to early forties says four in favor and two vehemently against.) It also has a slightly sweet taste to it, not just because of the milk but also because you're using the newest of the new season's vegetables, which of course are naturally sweet.

summer soup

The recipe comes from Farmors Café, a restaurant in the Finnish archipelago close to where our summer island is. I've never actually had summer soup there, but it's worth a visit for the cakes alone. :P

Summer Soup
serves four

1½ l (6 cups) season's new vegetables, cut into chunks (carrot, spring onion, leek, caulflower, parsnip, sugarsnap & radish)
½ l ( 2 cups) small new potatoes, cut into chunks
1 l (4 cups) vegetable broth

2 tbsp flour
200 ml (7 fl oz)milk
200 ml (7 fl oz) "cooking" cream (about 5-15% fat)
100 ml (3&frac; fl oz) cream cheese

salt, pepper & sugar to taste

parsley & a few thinly sliced radishes to serve

Simmer the vegetables (save for the green parts of the spring onion) in vegetable broth until about half-done, then add the onion greens. In a separate pan, heat the milk and cream until almost boiling, then whisk in the flour. Pour into the soup pan (through a sieve if it's lumpy in spite of the whisking), add the cream cheese and continue cooking until the vegetables are done - you want them to be fairly soft but by no means mushy or anything. Season with salt, pepper and (optionally) a pinch of sugar. Serve with parsley and sliced radish sprinkled on top.


Lucy said...

Actually, it looks and sounds divine.
And I don't even really like milk.

Such light pretty flavours (and of course, picures) - must make this. The radish garnish is great.

Meeta said...

I am not much of a milk fan. I mean I take it in my coffee etc. but as a basis of a soup I would never have thought about it. Having seen this soup I am so curious because it sounds delicious!

Pille said...

Mmmm. I can see a food fight on the horizon. A wild blueberry / bilberry pie is essentially an Estonian dish, as is a milk-based summer soup :)
Though I must admit your Finnish version looks amazing!!

deinin said...

Lucy and Meeta - the taste depends a lot on how sweet your vegetables are in themselves. If they're not sweet, there's not much else going on and it's fairly bland. If they are... well, even people who grew up with this kind of thing have diverging opinions. I hope it works for you if you get the chance to try it!

Pille, ooh, I hope you blog about both of those soon, I always want to try new things! (And I noticed on Nami-Nami that there's also the egg sauce, although those are really different.)

Rose said...

I can't go one day without my 1/2 liter milk a day.I love milk soup. My grandmother used to make me some with vermicelli or couscous. I have actually never used it with vegetables before. I will definetely give it a try.Looks so beautiful. Your pictures are always inspriring Deinin.

Alanna said...

Oh that is so gloriously beautiful! I remember kesakeitto so well - in fact have been wondering recently why I haven't done it for A Veggie Venture! I did share the recipe with some CSA members from Maine who were getting baby turnips and radishes and ...

evinrude said...

Oh this sounds wonderful! Milk based vegetable soup. Mm~

The pictures are beautiful as usual! Love the vibrant colours!

oliivia said...

I was one of those people who thought they hated Summer Soup, until one fine day I tasted some, made with fresh ingredients by my mother-in-law. I have been a convert ever since! (haven't dared try to make my own, though!)

deinin said...

Rose, thank you! I've always liked this, but some people can't stand it.

Alanna, go for it! Especially as it doesn't use any ingredients you'd have to find substitutes for. Well, it may be a bit late in the year for "baby" vegetables, but still.

Evinrude, thanks! I think the recipes I feature here tend to skew to the "fresh and vibrant" more than what's actually happening in my kitchen. The mushy goopy things never get blogged, even if they're just as good.

Oliivia, it's all in the vegetables - if they're not fresh and sweet and pretty, it's not going to be any good. But when it's done right...

Wendy said...

I love kesäkeitto. As you say, it's such a pretty wholesome soup. Never seen radishes in it before. Love that wee hint of cerise!

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Unknown said...

During high school, My friend and I were obsessed with everything Finland. Culture, music, landscape, weather, FOOD, etc. We made Kesäkeitto many times. It is divine. Although I am in my mid-twenties now, and do not drink milk, I wonder how this would fair being dairy free. Anyone know?