Sunday, 3 June 2012
... when I first left the clutches of my mothers kitchen way back in the early nineties and moved into my own flat with my friend Sian I used to make a lot of soup... it was the one thing I could do with flair... it always looked impressive, was a filling, inexpensive bowl of goodness and it was also a small throw-back to the lofty days of the 1980's dinner parties that my mother used to throw... which always started with a wonderful bowl of warm soup... and in the summer, for little bit of fancy, a bowl of vichyssoise... a cold leek and potato soup that mum would serve with teeny cubes of cold cucumber croutons...
... the first soup I really excelled at was the classic leek and potato, recipe courtesy of Delia Smith... it's such a wonderfully creamy, thick soup and leeks are always a crowd pleaser for their gentle onion flavour... I can't quite remember when I started adding lemongrass to the recipe but it must have been during my university 'experimental' years when lemongrass was a relatively 'new' addition to the herb fraternity and was having something of a trend moment in the UK... it compliments the leeks so beautifully and adds an element of summer freshness that is, simply put, quite divine... it can be served warm but is far better left to cool and then served chilled as the sun is setting on a beautifully British summer evening...
Lemongrass Vichyssoise served with Caramelised Onion and Thyme Bread
we're adding the lemongrass whole, but broken, here because this way it will still impart its flavour into the soup without having the hassle of sieving the bugger out of it later... simply snap the lemongrass in a few places along its length without it breaking...
... for the bread, i've used my regular low-knead method but I've used half wholemeal and half white flour and i've then kneaded in some caramelised onions and fresh thyme just before the second rise stage...
1 onion - finely chopped
2 large leeks - trimmed and finely chopped
2 medium potatoes - peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of lemongrass - broken in a few places but not chopped or apart
1 pint of vegetarian stock
1/2 pint of milk
salt and pepper
butter and olive oil
- gently saute the onions in a heavy pan until soft and beginning to turn translucent
- add the leeks and potatoes, stir, place the lid on and sweat for 5 mins or until soft
- add the stock, milk and whole lemongrass, place the lid back on and simmer gently for 25 mins... keep an eye on it as the milk tends to boil over if too hot
- turn the heat off and let it cool completely
- take the lemongrass out and blend the soup until soft and silky, place it in the fridge until chilled and then served with teeny cubes of cucumber a drizzle of olive oil and some chives...
...i'm entering this delightful soup into the Herbs on Saturday bloggers challenge hosted by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage...
... eat and of course, enjoy!