My Mom's "Gurkensoße" (cucumber soup)

My Mom calls it a "Gurkensoße" which litteraly translates to cucumber sauce. However, it is a soup. It is a recipe she picked up from her mother-in-law who is not a native German speaker. So, maybe the word got mixed up somewhere in translation :)

This soup is more on the sour side due to the cucumber and vinegar. It is a very (vegetarian based) fresh and light summer soup. The potatoes and the bread (if you serve it with bread)  make it a little heartier.

The cucumbers used in this recipe are not the commonly used salad cucumbers or pickled cucumbers. They are specific cooking or stewing cucumbers. They are slightly smaller then the salad cucumber, but thicker. The color is a little darker. The important part is, that they have less seeds inside and have a stronger flavor. Making them perfect for this soup.


  • 4 cucumbers (cooking/ stewing cucumbers)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or margerine)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 small cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground careaway  
  • 4-5 potatoes (peeled and cut in cubes)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt/ pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons sauce thickener ("Saucenbinder dunkel" - substitude with corn starch or flour/water mix)


Prepare the Cucumber

Peel and thinnly slice the cucumbers, you may want to use a mandoline for it. Season with salt and let sit for 1-2 hours. The salt will draw out the excess water of the cucumbers and flavors them - a critical step not to be missed! Then, squeeze the cucumbers slightly and drain them.

Prepare the Roux

In a pot, heat up the butter. Add the flour und stir. It shoud have a thick consistency. When you scrape it from the botton, it should take a few seconds to flow back in place. It should not be too liquid, but also not too thick. Add more butter or flour if needed. When it starts to bubble, add the garlic. Keep stirring to not burn the butter/flour mix or the garlic. The roux is ready when it turns slightly brownish with still a yellow tinge.

Fill up the Pot

Now, add the cucumbers and stir to mix them with the roux. Add the water, the salt, the ground careaway and stir. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the potato cubes, a pinch of salt and a bit of water. Let cook for another 20 minutes till the potatoes are soft. A fork should go in smoothly.

Season and Serve it

Lastly, add the vinegar, some more salt and pepper to taste. Thicken the soup either with a special sauce thickener (e.g., Mondamin) or alternatively, with a bit of cornstarch. You can also mix together some flour and water in a small bowl and add this to the soup for thickening. Serve with bread.

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    Irish Pubs, Beer and Grub

    I love pubs and I was looking forward to some true Irish Pubs on my vacation in Ireland :) I also really enjoyed the Irish breweries and their craft beer. I am not much of a German beer drinker, however craft beer is a whole different story... I especially enjoyed the Irish Red Ale.

    My new favorite - Irish Red Ale

    Most of the pubs I went to were in Galway, within the Latin Quarter down to the Spanish Arch.

    In Dublin, I was more occupied with some nice craft beer breweries :) However, there are also nice Irish pubs, espeically within the riverside neighborhood on both sides of the river liffy.

    Irish Pubs in Galway and Dublin

    • The Skeff Bar (Galway) - This was my favorite bar. It is situated directly at the Eyre Square. The pub is really big with several rooms/bars and floors. It has the typical rusty wooden look. They serve their own beer, the Scéal Ale (golden amber ale with azacca, amarillo and citrus hops). And of course, they do have live music every night. Above the bar is a hotel. It's a bit noisy to stay there but they provide earplugs and the breakfast is really nice, in a sunny upstairs area with cute little colorful sofas. While I was not really convinced of their food (I had the sunday roast), I really enjoyed the location, atmosphere, beer and music.
    • The Daíl Bar (Galway) - This is a very famous pub in Galway. They are really big as well with  two floors and several bars. Great atmosphere with live music downstairs, but only midweek. Their food is also high quality, I had their delicious Irish beef stew (with lots of veggies as well) and their decadent sticky toffee pudding with honeycomb ice cream as a dessert.
    • The Front Door (Galway) - This is another of the historic Irish Pubs in Galway. The interior is really great, two floors and five rooms and niches, including a cocktail lounge. Everything nicely decorated. Live music every night. Their food is standard pub grub (I tried one of their Burger and Fries), but what really convinced me was the lovely atmosphere.
    • The Quay Street Kitchen (Galway) - This is a very small place, rather an unconventional "pub", more a restaurant. However, they serve amazing food, not the standard pub grub. I had a Morrocan spiced vegetable tagine with cous cous and as a dessert their version of the classical bannoffee pie. I also had my first Irish Red Ale here :)
    • Tigh Neachtain's (Galway) -This is a really quaint, rusty and cozy all-wood pub. It has fireplaces, lots of little nooks and niches to sit in and an outdoor seating area. They are proud of their displayed art and also have live music. Their food and beer was also above standard. During my Galway Food Tour, I enjoyed their oatmeal stout, salami crackers, deep fried goat chesse and sushi.
    • Ard Bia at Nimmo's (Galway) - This is a pub that I actually have not really tried out. However, I read a lot about it and our Food Tour guide recommended it. It is a little pricier and higher standard. The food is supposed to be high quality. Location is directly at the port, beneath the Spanish Arch on the Long Walk.
    • Temple Bar (Dublin) - This is the traditional tourist pub in Dublin, at the south bank of the river liffy. You just have to see it. It once has been more a district for locals according to our tour guide, but now it is mostly frequented by tourists. It is always lively and crowded. There are several pub rooms and bars, nicely decorated and live music each evening.

    Breweries and Craft Beer ind Dublin

    • J.W. Sweetman - This craft beer brewery was my favorite. I stumbled upon this place by accident, its right on the south bank of the liffy with a nice view of the liffy. They have several floors and sit-down dinner was served upstairs with live music. They served different flights or craft beer with a huge selection to choose from including some seasonal beers and the traditional Irish Red Ale. Also, the food was just amazingly good! No pub grub :) I had the Green Veggie Thai Curry. 
    • The Porterhouse - This place was recommended to me by one of my tour guides. They convinced me as they also serve flights of craft beer. I do love a good sample flight :) The dinner area is in the back and they do not have live music but a D.J. Food and atmosphere was good.
    • P.Mac's - This craft beer brewery was recommended to me by one of the other pub bartenders. They did not serve flights, but they let me sample every beer I wanted for free :) The atmosphere was really nice, they had these cute arrangements of bottles with red candles on each table. It felt quite cozy.

    Brunch at Brother Hubbard (Dublin, Ireland)

    I found this amazing little brunch place in Dublin - Brother Hubbard. It came highly recommended by our city tour guide and I actually had also already seen it online, when I googled brunch places. They have two locations, North and South of the Liffey. I went to the South location, it is about 10-15 minutes from the City Center and is frequented by tourists and locals alike. I ended up having brunch on a really nice and sunny morning, so that I could sit outside.

    They have been on the list of the "Top 100 Places to Eat in Ireland" by McKenna's Guide for the past years. They also have a cookbook available in their online store.

    Brother Hubbard - Middle East Feast

    Their brunch menu is quite small but therefore their dishes are creative and interesting. They focus on fresh and healthy food, quality and value. Their flavor profil is Middle Eastern including spices such as cumin and harissa and often vegetarian friendly. They are intentionally avoiding the classical dishes. So, iIf you are looking for a traditional Irish / English or American breakfast, you will not find it here. However, the selected dishes are so flavorful, creative and nicely arranged. Among others, they serve Moroccan-style pancakes, Turkish eggs Menemen (similar to a shakshouka), and Greek yoghurt with granola. It is something special.

    Fresh and High Quality Food -

    Best Avocado Bread and Roasted Potatoes ever!

    I tried "Brother Hubbard's Avo & Eggs" with a side of baby potatoes. I really enjoyed the potatoes, they came roasted with a red pepper aioli, paprika, cumin and fresh herbs. Also, the avocado toast was very creative. It included:
    • smashed avocado on Georgian bread
    • two poached eggs
    • chickpeas
    • a nut dukkah (Egyptian condiment of nuts, spices and herbs)
    • harissa yoghurt
    • fresh radishes and leaves
    • nigella seeds (black cumin, very nutritious)
    Everything was just high quality. The potatoes were freshly roasted and not re-heated. The poached eggs were indeed runny and not - as so often - overcooked. The tea (lose tea) and orange juice (with pulp) were also high standard.

    This breakfast had everything I could wish for and even more. No ordinary or boring breakfast, creative, fresh and just simply delicious! A fabulous way to start the day. Afterwards, I went on a Paddywaggon Tour to the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough which was amazing as well. Antother great day on my Irish adventure :)

    Afternoon Tea in Dublin - The Shelbourne

    Afternoon Tea is a traditional special dining experience. The tea ceremony has its beginnings in England. It was first created by Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford and a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria in the early 19th century. During that time, dinner was served later and later in the day and except for breakfast there was only a light lunch. The afternoon time was quite long and the Duchess found that a tea with sandwiches or cakes was the perfect addition and best enjoyed in company.

    I have experienced Afternoon Tea in Victoria (Canada), Berlin (Germany), London (UK), Florida (Orlando, USA), Sydney (Australia). Among those Afternoon Tea session were also some very special themed and whimsical ones. The Afternoon Tea at the Grosvenor House (London) displayed a Royal Wedding theme as it was right before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. The Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel (London) had a Beauty and the Beast theme (Tale As Old As Time).

    The Lord Mayer's Lounge (The Shelbourne)

    Now, it was time to try Afternoon Tea in Ireland. I chose the Lord Mayer's Lounge at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. I liked the atmosphere of the lounge with the soft piano music and the classic style of a 4 tiered étagere Afternoon Tea. Also, they served unlimited food and tea. This is important to me, as I like to try different tea flavors :) And they included an Irish themed sandwich that was just delicious - using whiskey cured salmon and guiness bread!

    As mentioned, the restaurant was delightful and I even got a table at the window that I asked for. The staff were very attentive but unobtrusive. They also did not rush you after your 90 min seating. The prepared the tea and poured the cup for you and kept the rest in a silver tea pot. However, you were not required to finish the entire tea pot. They even asked whether you want to try another one.

    My Highlights

    A Flowering Tea, a Maqui Mandra Rooibos Tea, and an Irish Bite 

    • One hightlicht was the flowering tea. I have had flowering teas before, but somehow I never liked them. Here, I was completely enchanted by the way they served it and the flavor. They put the tea pot in front of you. However, it was a seethrough glass tea pot and you could see the tea flower grow. Very nice to watch.
    • Also, I am not a big fan of rooibos tea. Nevertheless, I tried their Maqui Mandra, a rooibos tea with a fruity taste of the maqui berries. It sounded nice and I wanted to try somehing new. And - to my surprise - I just loved it. So much, actually, that I ordered it twice - I started and I ended with it ;) I wanted to buy it, but unfortunately, they did not sell it. However, it is a Ronnefeldt Tea and you can buy it online.
    • Among the food, my highlight was indeed the Irish bite - a sandwich with whiskey cured smoked salmon and guiness bread. Doesn't that sound just delightful?


    Teas and Bites in Detail

    Teas I tried - All of them very recommendable :)

    • Maqui Mandra - mild green rooibos with a fruite taste and aroma of the rare maqui berries
    • Golden Fortune Balls (Flowering Tea) - mild green tea with a hint of passion fruit 
    • Oolong Tea Tie Guan Yin - mild green Chinese oolong tea with a floral and sweet taste

    The savory and sweet bites - The Irish bite was my favorite!

    • First tier: Buttermilk scones with a gingerbread
    • Second tier - Savory bites: Whiskey cured smoked salmon on guiness bread (Irish special), cherry tomatoes and feta cheese on pumpkin bread, egg salad and cress on white bread, chicken avocado poppy seed roll
    • Third and Fourth tier - sweets: Lemon raspberry éclair, carrot cake with orange cream frosting, vanilla and pomegranate panna cotta with rhubarb and yuzu compote, chocolate mousse ball with hazelnut bavarois and liquid caramel

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