Roux the Day

poleek

The next lesson in the Soup unit provided insight on roux-based soups. Roux-based soups are often referred to as cream soups and have a silky-smooth and cream-like consistency. But here is an interesting fact: Roux-based soups are actually based on a thin velouté sauce or a thin béchamel sauce. The practice assignments consisted of cream of broccoli, cream of asparagus, and cream of cauliflower soup. My favorite was the cream of cauliflower. It was very good and I am going to try roasting the cauliflower first the next time I make it for some added depth and smokiness. More…

The next lesson in the Soup unit provided insight on roux-based soups. Roux-based soups are often referred to as cream soups and have a silky-smooth and cream-like consistency. But here is an interesting fact: Roux-based soups are actually based on a thin velouté sauce or a thin béchamel sauce.  The practice assignments consisted of cream of broccoli, cream of asparagus, and cream of cauliflower soup. My favorite was the cream of cauliflower. It was very good and I am going to try roasting the cauliflower first the next time I make it for some added depth and smokiness.

The next lesson was on starch-based thick soups that are made by cooking starchy vegetables, legumes or grains together with a liquid. This was graded assignment of which I chose to make Leek & Potato soup. The other two options, I printed out to make later.To make this soup (after mise en place). I melted the butter over medium heat. Once completely melted, I added the onions and sweat them about 5 minutes to soften. I added the garlic and cooked for an additional minute. I then added the leeks and salt, stirred, and covered to sweat until softened; for about 7 minutes. At this point, I added the potatoes, stirred to combine, and then added the stock. I ended up having to add all 4 cups of stock to just cover the ingredients. I brought the soup to a simmer and then put a lid on and cooked for 10 minutes. I tested to see of the potatoes were ready, but they were not, so I continued simmering over medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes; checking each minute for doneness. Once the soup was done, I turned off the heat and ladled in enough soup to fill a 1/3 of my blender; taking care to only add enough stock/liquid to blend well. I then poured the blended mixture through a fine mess colander for added smoothness into a sauce pan. I repeated this process 2 more times. I heated the soup back up. In the end, I did not have any leftover liquid as the soup needed it to come out the right consistency. I also added a bit of cream and pepper. It did not need any additional salt.

poleek

To serve the soup, I heated back up to temperature; tasting one last time for seasoning. In the end, I had already added enough seasoning but added just a bit more cream. I warmed the bowls and grilled some bread. I then ladled the soup into the bowls, sprinkled some chives on top and placed the grilled bread. The soup was well balanced with a velvety feel in the mouth. I found this activity especially satisfying as the onions and leeks came from my very own garden! The next time I make this, the potatoes and garlic will come from my own garden as well.

One Potato, Two Potato

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I had my first assignment in my cookery class. I was asked to make my favorite go-to meal. I have to admit, it was not easy deciding what to cook. My go-to meal changes periodically, but I finally decided on Potato Leek Soup. In the process of making the soup, I was to take a picture of my prepared ingredients, a shot during the cooking process, and one of the final dish. I woke up this morning and headed to the store to get my ingredients. The store is pretty empty in the morning; I will have to remember that. The soup does not have that many ingredients so shopping took no more than five minutes. I headed home, unpacked, and got started. More…
I had my first assignment in my cookery class.  I was asked to make my favorite go-to meal. I have to admit, it was not easy deciding what to cook. My go-to meal changes periodically, but I finally decided on Potato Leek Soup. In the process of making the soup, I was to take a picture of my prepared ingredients, a shot during the cooking process, and one of the final dish. I woke up this morning and headed to the store to get my ingredients. The store is pretty empty in the morning; I will have to remember that. The soup does not have that many ingredients so shopping took no more than five minutes. I headed home, unpacked, and got started.The first step was to prepare the mise en place–which means “putting in place”– and take a picture. No problem!

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The next step was to actually cook the soup; again, no problem. It was just a matter of sweating the leeks, potatoes, and celery with some salt and pepper for about 10 minutes, adding white wine and reducing, and then adding the water and simmering for another 20 minutes.

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The last step was to puree about two cups of the soup in a blender and add back in to the soup. I then made some crispy leeks for garnish and bread for dipping. I snapped a picture of the final dish, and not wanting it to go to waste, ate it for breakfast.

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It was delicious–even in the wee hours of the morning. The description I used on the assignment sums it up rather nicely: This deceivingly simple soup is rich without being too thick. With only six main ingredients including ghee, Yukon gold potatoes, leeks, celery, white wine, and water (not including salt and pepper), this soup is quick to prep, simple to cook, and heavenly to eat. The addition of crispy leeks and grilled bread provides a satisfying meal on a crisp spring day like today!