Monday, November 16, 2009

A legendary soup

You may have heard me talk about how much I love Julie Powell (the author of Julie and Julia). In her book, she talks about making Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (that's potato leek soup for you non-French speakers) and how great it is. So I figured I should give it a try. I realized I had five leeks and a bag of yellow potatoes in my fridge, so this seemed like a good day to go for it.

It is very simple (so says Julie Powell), which doesn't mean easy. You have to peel a bunch of potatoes (about 1 pound) and then slice or dice them up. Then you slice the same amount of leeks and wash them really well in a colander (mine were from my CSA box and were completely covered in dirt).

Then throw them in a pot with 2 quarts of water (or chicken broth - I did a mix of both) and one Tbs of salt - simmer them over moderate heat for about 45 minutes, partially covered (I balanced the pot lid over one side of the pot and my little espresso maker - I am such a professional). Once the vegetables are tender, it's time to blend them up.

Julia asks that you don't use a food processor or a blender - she wants you to use a food mill or a fork. I did just get a food mill (another wedding present - woot!) but I was too lazy to set it up. My immersion blender just called out to me, "Lena! Use me! I am so easy to use and already out of the box!" So I pureed about half of it with the immersion blender and left some chunks of potato in tact (as a sort of compromise with the ghost of Julia Child). Then I adjusted the seasoning and adding some cream (Julia says! She wanted me to add 6 Tbs, but I added about half that in deference to my girlish figure).

It's good - very filling, but it's not a wow. It's kind of bland for my taste - but it would be a good first course type thing - just not a whole meal.