If Yan Could Cook. . .

Leek-Potato-Fennel-Celery Soup

leave a comment »

I dislike cream soups conceptually. Soups with clear broth are much more harder and riskier in all senses – presentation, crowd-pleasing, transparency of ingredients. Many restaurants make what can only be described as garbage soup by simply running a handblender through broth and any vegetables that are starting to go bad or were extraneously prepared. It always looks and tastes fine (never terrible, never spectacular) and no colour – not even the murkiest grey-brown – is considered strange. You can even let them ferment. We had a broccoli soup at one place I worked that developed an interesting sour kick to it. I ate a bowl every day for a week; my coworker said we would stop serving it once I started to hallucinate.

All that said, last night I made a leek and potato soup variant that made me feel how I imagine it feels to be popcorn: warm and buttery all over.

I used two leek stalks (just the white and light green), one bulb of fennel, three medium golden russet potatoes with the skin on, half a white onion, and two stalks of celery, all finely sliced. The whole pile wilted in a sea of butter (actually only about 1/4 cup), garlic, and chicken bullion, and then simmered in just enough water to cover everything. Finally I ran it through the blender in batches. It was thick and rich even without adding any cream. Best served with a piece of crisp pancetta on top (to add salt without adding salt) and a few fronds of dill from the fennel bulb.

Today, for complicated reasons, I ate breakfast in Shawinigan, Quebec, a white-bread town about two hours north of Montreal. It was hard to find breakfast. Mostly there were bars filled with old men, drinking deep at ten in the morning.


Written by skimfu

August 19, 2008 at 2:05 am

Posted in Soup, Vegetarian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: