Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Cucumbers! Lettuce Soup!

Last year I grew ridge cucumbers in the garden and got precisely one cucumber! Well being a glutton for punishment I am having another go. I don’t know a lot about growing cucumbers but I’ve been reading up about them. DSCF0006 I have tiny cucumbers showing and I’ve stopped the vine after seven leaves to allow the laterals to develop. I am growing them in a deep tub and tying them to poles so that they grow up rather than hang down. I have four plants altogether but some are more advanced than others. DSCF0008 I have two in this grey tub and a couple in large pots. They are all showing small cucumbers and those in pots are attaching themselves to the sticks with suckers like clematis does.

DSCF0010 Any advice will be gratefully received! I am watering them well and feeding them regularly. I don’t know what else I can do but keep my fingers crossed!

With this humid sticky weather we are having, the rest of the garden is coming on really well. The beetroot which I sowed at the edge of the herbs is looking really good. I have sown a second sowing to follow on in the autumn. I like raw beetroot grated on to salads. I never knew one could do this until I bought a pack of bistro salad from Asda!

DSCF0020 The lettuces too are getting out of hand but there is always lettuce soup! These are an oriental mix that I sowed about a month ago. They are very quick to grow and already I am picking leaves off them. Next to them is a row of spinach.


Lettuce Soup

At least one whole lettuce or equivalent in leaves. A red onion. Clove of garlic.Pint of vegetable stock. Seasoning. Dill, tarragon or basil-approx 2 table spoons of whichever is chosen. 1 tablespoon olive oil. Crème fraiche.

Add oil to large saucepan. Chop onion and garlic and add to pan. Sweat over low heat for 10 minutes. Make up stock and add to pan with chopped or torn lettuce plus black pepper to taste. Add herb of choice. Bring to boil and then simmer for ten minutes. Cool slightly and add half a tub crème fraiche. Stir in until melted. Liquidise until smooth. Serve with sprig of chosen herb and swirl of cream to decorate. Can be served cold. Is very good!


  1. Yum! That sounds great! Val, you have one of my fav salad greens -- mizuna -- in your photos. At least it looks like it from my vantage point. Janet

  2. I tried cucumber last year and failed miserably! hehehe, we regularly got the flowers and beginnings of the fleshy part but they'd then suddenly die off. I assume it was because we didn'y stop the plant growing?

    We didn't try again this year! :D

  3. oh - just what I need a leuttuce soup, thanks.
    Your beetroot is looking good.

  4. I targeted in on your beetroot because I think I'll give it another try. Mine just didn't go anywhere, save ONE, and it still isn't anything to write home about.

    The cukes...eh...I'm crossing my fingers for any progress. My 1 year old dachshund seems to have a taste for the young leaves, he just bites them off, and so, the cycle begins anew as I sow yet even more seeds into the soil.

  5. I just have a feeling that cucumber will behave just like bitter gourds. The little fruit looks fine and eager to swell further. Like you said kepp the fingers crossed!!.. Look signs fo pest and act accordingly.... Cheers, may your cucumber swell to half a kilo.

    ~ bangchik

  6. Janet I think 'mizuna' was one of the varieties in my packet of mixed lettuce leaves. I know they all taste good and a bit spicy!
    Liz perhaps last year was a bad year for cukes!
    Karen and Rowena beetroot is so easy to grow (unless you have a dog with a taste for it!:-))
    and will overwinter in the ground. I left mine in last year and we were still pulling it in March. Hope you enjoy the soup Karen!
    Bankchik thank you for your good wishes for the cucumbers. I hope your forecast is right!

  7. Yum ... great idea, Val. I'm a soup lover BIG TIME! Thanks for sharing. Happy July gardening :)

  8. I've never heard of lettuce soup. I'll have to try that. -Jackie

  9. Hi Val,

    So sorry I managed to reject your comment on my blog without even reading it! No idea how I manged it, I must've had a dizzy moment - well I am blonde!

    Thank you for commenting though, it's much appreciated :)

  10. Oh well that makes two of us Liz. I'm a blonde too and completely scatty at times! Nice blog even if you don't want a comment! :-)
    Ellie Mae and Joey lettuce soup is great and if you don't have enough lettuce you can eke it out with courgettes and -or leeks. Val

  11. I see that my Blotanical friend Island Gardener is one of your visitors. Small world. The soup sounds delicious, Valeri. Perfect for summer.
    Good luck with the cukes.

  12. Valeri, The lettuce soup sounds like a lovely summer soup. But, I have to tell you, I am always sweating over low heat. Can I leave that part out of the recipe?