Thursday, June 24, 2010

Simply soup

It hasn't been all that cold in Wellington this week, but it's been depressingly damp and gray. Time to go back to basics. The very first thing I ever made from Mastering the Art of French Cooking was leek and potato soup. It's probably the simplest recipe in the whole two volumes.

Potage Parmentier (sounds much more impressive, doesn't it)
Peel and dice enough potatoes - preferably Agria - to get 450g.
Remove the tough outer skin of fresh, not too gigantic leeks. Slice the tender pale lower parts into thin rounds. Remove the remaining tough darker green leaves near the top, and slice the inner tender light green parts thinly. You want the same weight of leeks as of potatoes, 450g.

Put the veges into a large saucepan and add 1.5 litres of water and 1 dessertspoon of salt. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes or more, until the veges are tender.

What you do next depends on how smooth you want the soup to be. Julia says you can mash the veges with a  fork or pass them through a moulinette. Or you can let everything cool and whizz it in a food processor or blender, though the resulting soup is considered too smooth and homogenous by some authorities.

Correct seasoning and leave aside, uncovered, until just before serving. Reheat to simmering point.

Either stir in, a spoonful at a time, 4-6 tablespoons of cream or softened butter, or swirl a little cream around the top of each bowl as you serve it. Scatter 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or chives over the soup in a tureen, or put a little onto each bowlful. Or you could just eat it as it is. Leeks, potatoes, salt and water.


millie mirepoix said...

I remember the first time I had potato and leek soup, at my grandma's house just after my grandfather's funeral. A kind neighbour had brought over several containers-full of soup, and we had it for lunch. It was the sort of cold, dreary day we get a lot in Wellington and I remember it being the most comforting thing... it's become a favourite for Wellington winters. I've never really used a set recipe but may try this version!

AnneE said...

What ia nice comment, Millie, sorry I missed it earlier. I'm about to make another pot of this - 10 degrees tomorrow. Have you read my book? Would love to know...