I thought I was going to the States for three years. It was H4 visa. I had no idea what to expect but knew there would be cooking. So, my mom gave me a notebook to collect recipes. I filled half of it with handwritten family recipes my mom dictated to me, and another half were magazine clippings and recipe cards. This soup recipe came from the second half. I’ve never changed or modified it. Because this recipe is genius.
Zucchini Soup with Sour Cream and Salmon Roe aka Alien
Three main ingredients: zucchini, sour cream, and salmon roe.
Three delicate flavors: gently sweet zucchini, briny salmon roe, and barely tart sour cream.
Three textures: creamy fibers of zucchini, silky sour cream, and smooth popping globules of fish row.
Three temperatures: hot soup, room temperature roe, and cold sour cream.
Make sure every spoon has all three components and enjoy!
For more vibrant color, pick young dark green zucchini.
Wash and cut zucchini into 1" thick rounds.
Transfer the rounds to a pot and add cold water to cover zucchini to the top. Add salt and toasted garlic and bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce the heat to minimum and simmer until zucchini is soft. It should take about 5 minutes.
Strain and reserve water in case you need to adjust soup thickness. Transfer zucchini into a blender jar, add milk and spices if using, and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Return the soup to the pot and bring it back to simmer to remove bubbles. Meanwhile, wash and finely chop fresh dill, wash and slice scallions. Warm soup bowls. In each bowl, pour a portion of hot soup, drop a dollop of cold sour cream in the center and top it with salmon roe.
Salmon Roe in Austin
Salmon roe is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is considered a high-end delicacy in many cuisines, including Eastern-European ones. In the Soviet Union, salmon roe was known as "red" caviar and was one of the most popular appetizers on a holiday table if the hosts could afford it. You can bet you'll find it in any Easter-Euporean foods store in the U.S. In Austin, look for it at Borderless European Market.
A more expensive salmon roe for sushi (ikura) is available in some Asian stores in North Austin, e.g., Asahi Imports. It is frozen and should be thawed in a refrigerated prior to serving. And, surprise! — HEB and Central Market have a tiny jar (2 tbsp) of salmon roe on the shelf right next to their seafood department. It is $8.99 a jar.