Let’s keep practising for winter….
I’ve been talking about food with a friend who says that in his opinon white food is no good. Well, when you put it like that it sounds perfectly horrid, doesn’t it? White food. And I’m sure the Chinese are right on this. In the West we use science to work out if we are eating well. We use measurements of vitamins and minerals, fibre and protein, on it goes. Western science turns diet into a tedious statistical exercise. The Chinese say this: if you have a lot of different colours on your plate, you are eating well. How elegantly obvious.
Still. White food, however ghastly an idea it might appear on paper, in practice is often the best comfort food and not necessarily unhealthy. Having noted my onion soup recipe, I have to add this one too.
- 60g butter
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil – or some other vegetable oil you can bear that won’t kill you in an irritating way
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 leeks, white parts only trimmed and very finely sliced
- 6 good-sized potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2.5 cups chicken stock
- 1.25 cups milk
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter and oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent but NOT brown. This is really important, so please don’t wander off to check your goodreads votes while the onion is cooking. It might take around 5-7 minutes, it will depend on all sorts of things – the onions, the hotplate, the pan, what is in your heart….
Add the leeks and potatoes and cook, stirring and turning occasionally until the potatoes are lightly and evenly browned. It might take 10-12 minutes. It might not. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour over the chicken stock and milk. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the saucepan and simmer the liquid for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan and what you do next depends on your technology. In some way strain the soup over a bowl so that you end up with the liquid and as much of the juice of the vegetables as possible, while leaving the solids behind. It could be a fine strainer and a wooden spoon. It could be something NASA invented for astronauts. Whatever you have to hand.
Return the soup to the saucepan and warm over moderately low heat. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. If you dash out and do one book at a time, you may check one or two of your latest reviews while doing this.
Remove and serve.
I have tried this with less potato adding turnip and parsnip. As far as I can tell this works well.
text mine, ingredients from The Best of Supercook Soups and Stews