It happens! Certainly, when I used to know of several photographers it happened to each and every one of us. Then, it was a case of using SLR’s (35mm film cameras) and shooting an entire film only to realise that it hadn’t caught properly. Here, it happened with developing this soup – highly unusual for me to to do any research for a soup. Instead of going online and popping into actual web sites I don’t bother with that any more as it’s infinitely tedious. Rather, I type in enough information to Google and read through any ingredients that may show up within its page. Life’s too short otherwise. So! Brussels sprouts soup. And marjoram came up. Seriously?! Love the stuff scattered over strong tasting salads, like mackerel and beetroot. Then, pine nuts and marjoram made several appearances, along with caraway seeds. Why, I’ve no idea. Using caution I sprinkled over half a teaspoon of dried marjoram into my already cooked soup, just prior to blending it – or so I thought. The smell went whoosh, almighty citrusy in my face – almost in a hedonistic way. Quite simply superb. Until I tasted the soup! What was liquid went down the loo and any solids were binned. After starting again, the following day, I kept clear of Googling and went the safe and simple route. Which is how this was wanted in the first place – perfect for leftovers after the big day that is Christmas. This Brussels Sprouts and Leek Soup is surprisingly warm, sweet, full of flavour and caressingly smooth in texture. Very delicious with deep-fried cubed potatoes (roast them for a healthier option), something I very seldom cook. And with large dollops of ricotta this really hit the spot. Comfort food when I need it, what with dealing with my third edition cold right now. Huh! Needless to say, I’m bored already with this wretched little cold. Even more so than researching recipes!
Brussels Sprouts and Leek Soup, with fried potatoes and ricotta
PREP: about 30 mins ~ COOK: about 1 hour ~ READY IN: 1 hour
ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: immersion/stick blender or blender/liquidiser suitable for puréeing soups (in batches if necessary)
- 1 x dried bay leaf
- 1 x carrot, peeled, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 x celery stalk/rib, rinsed, trimmed and cut in half
- 200g (7.055 oz) x prepared weight (up to 300g (10.58 oz) needed) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced crossways into thin discs + extra for garnish
- 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
- 500ml (16.91 fl oz) x cold water
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 200g (7.055 oz) x leeks, white and pale green only, sliced crossways into discs and thoroughly rinsed – 100g (3.527 oz) for the soup (to be puréed) and the other half for garnish
- oil, for deep-frying
- about 200g (7.055 oz) x white potatoes per person, peeled and cubed
- OR trying subbing the fried potatoes with roasted chestnuts
- ricotta cheese, for serving
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Whilst preparing the Brussels sprouts add the water, stock cube, bay leaf, carrot and celery (if using red pepper flakes add those as well) to a large saucepan with lid. Put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6), and as the sprouts are prepared add those to the stock as well. When all sprouts have been prepared clamp on a lid, bring stock to boiling point, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until the sprouts are cooked through. Take off heat, remove bay leaf, carrot pieces and celery and allow soup to cool before puréeing, in batches if necessary.
- In the meantime put a small heavy-based saucepan on heat No 3. When leeks are prepared add a little oil to the pan, add the leeks and put on a lid. Cook for around 10 – 15 minutes, checking occasionally and stirring through if necessary. Reduce heat to No 1, keep the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until they’re beginning to catch on base of pan. If adding half to the soup to be puréed then set those aside. Keeping the remaining leeks to one side of pan add more Brussels sprouts to be pan-fried if those are needed for garnish.
- For deep-fried potatoes: I only use about 2.5cms (about 1 inch) of oil, preferring to deep-fry in batches. Using a saucepan without a handle and at back of hob/stove add the oil and put on heat No 3. When oil is hot, and the potatoes are ready to be fried, up the heat to No 4 and add the potatoes by placing some of them on a slotted spoon and carefully adding those to the oil. Cook until nicely golden, remove with the slotted spoon on to kitchen towel/paper and keep warm until needed.
- When soup is cool enough to do so (after removing the bay leaf, carrot and celery) pour all of the stock with some of the cooked sprouts into the blender and purée until smooth. Add as many or as few of the sprouts to gain the consistency needed. Return the soup to the same saucepan and keep hot until needed.
- Serve with a garnish of pan-fried leeks and sprouts, fried potatoes and ricotta cheese.
All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn