03 October 2009

French Potage with Pistou

OK Gang. Here's a great, easy, delicious soup for one of those cloudy fall days when old man winter can't decide whether to stay or go. We had it this week and the recipe lasted for two days. Wonderful with a chunk of solid bread and a big piece of sharp cheddar cheese.


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts medium finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 medium potatoes - russet works but I like gold
6 medium carrots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced.
1 Tbs. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1 Large bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1-3 tsp. truffle oil (to taste)


1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts (toasted is nice but not essential)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What To Do:

1. Melt butter in pan over medium heat.
2. Add leeks and a 1/2 tsp. of sea salt.
3. Cover and cook util leeks are softened. Stir often. Maybe 6 or 7 minutes.
4. Add wine and garlic. Cook uncovered until the wine is mostly evaporated.
5. Add carrot, potato, thyme, bay leaf, broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil...reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes (until everything is really soft).
6. Remove bay leaf. Add one tsp of truffle oil. Purree in batches in blender or processor or use an immersion blender until smooth. Season with pepper (unless you used low sodium vegetable broth, it probably doesn't need salt). Add a little more water if its too thick. It should be on the thick side of creamy not the creamy side of thick. Taste and add more truffle oil if you like!
7. While all that is cooking you can make the pistou in your processor (hard to do in a blender). Drop the garlic into the running processor. Scrap down. Add the basil and walnut. Pulse to combine. Add oil and blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:

1. Place a dollop (a Tbsp or so) in the bottom of each deep bowl. Ladle 2 cups of hot soup over top to cover the pistou. Sprinkle with a little fresh thyme if you have any. Serve.
2. Your guest then stir the soup to mix in the pistou.
3. Bread and cheese board on the side.


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