Monday, 23 November 2015

Cream of Leek Soup

Yes, I know it's a plain, unrelieved beige. It looks like wallpaper paste, as a matter of fact. But don't let that fool you, nor the fact that the ingredient list is fairly short and the technique simple. This stuff is delicious; so, so delicious. It's absolutely fine enough to serve at a very fancy occasion, perhaps even Christmas. Do try and find a sprig of parsley for it though, if you can, to gussy it up a bit. Unfortunately, mine is snowed under. Gack.

I put cream in mine because I had it in my head to put cream in it, but I have to say the taste I had of it before the cream went in was awfully good. If you are eschewing cream, it could be omitted with very little pain. 

6 servings
1 1/2 hours prep time

Cream of Leek Soup

3 medium leeks
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium shallots
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons soft unbleached flour
2 tablespoons good sherry
a couple scrapes of nutmeg
1/3 to 2/3 cup 10% cream, OPTIONAL

Trim the leeks, and slice them. Wash the slices carefully and drain them well. Put them in a large soup pot with the chicken stock, the bay leaves, and the salt. Simmer for about an hour until the leeks are very tender. Let cool a bit, then put the leeks and stock into a food processor or blender. Don't blend yet, though.

Peel and slice the shallots and garlic. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, and cook the shallots and garlic gently until they are both ever so slightly browned; about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Sprinkle the flour over them and continue cooking and stirring for another few minutes.

Slosh in a little of the stock from the stock and leeks, and mix it up quickly. Before it thickens, pour and scrape the shallots into the food processor or blender with the stock and leeks. Add the sherry and nutmeg, and purée until the soup is extremely smooth.

Pour and scrape it back into the soup pot. To serve, reheat to a simmer - let it thicken slightly - then stir in the cream, if you want it. Continue heating until it returns to steaming hot, but do not let it simmer again once the cream goes in.

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