08 October 2011

Vegan French Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Perfect soup for the first snow day of the year.

Soup:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter (or olive oil to make it vegan)
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts medium finely chopped (about 5 cups)
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 medium potatoes - russet works but I like gold
6 medium carrots (try to get some different colors), chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced (I like more...)
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)

Pistou:

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 shallots and a 1/2 tsp. of sea salt.
3. Cover and cook until leeks are softened. Stir often. Maybe 10 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 - 45 minutes (until everything is really soft).  If you have time, turn the heat off and let it all sit there for a couple of hours before reheating and going to the next step.
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). 
7. 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!
8. 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.

Toast!

2 comments:

Kristi said...

That sounds delicious!!

John said...

That's a lot of garlic! I'll probably love it. :)