Mothers the world-over live by a secret code: make it as difficult as possible to recreate favourite childhood recipes.
How many of us have called or texted or Skyped our way through making a dish because our moms’ recipes consisted of, “Just a couple of handfuls of this — WHOSE HANDFULS? Hagrid’s? — and three dashes of that?” It’s a cross-cultural tradition to cook this way, and likely also a secret rite of passage into home chef territory that nobody tells us about until we’ve slayed the dragons and retrieved the cup.
The French often serve simple velouté — blended soups heavy on vegetables traditionally grown in kitchen gardens, combined with dairy — and leek soup was one of my favourites growing up. Besides being tasty, leeks are part of the onion and garlic family and pack a similar nutrional punch as the other allium vegetables, with the added benefit of extra fibre. The bacon is just the whipped cream.
4 pieces bacon, cooked
Cut the green ends off the leeks, slice lengthwise partway through in two different spots, and rinse well. (Finding bugs crawling across the cutting board after you’ve rinsed isn’t cool.)
Cut leeks into thin slices, heat butter over low to medium heat in a deep saucepan, and add leeks.
Peel and cut potatoes and carrots into small pieces and add to the leeks and butter. Stir to prevent sticking.
After 10 minutes add milk, water, salt, and pepper and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
Once the vegetables are cooked, purée using an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Cook one slice of bacon per person.
Top the soup with a crumbled piece of bacon and a drizzle of cream, and serve with a chunk of crispy baguette straight from the oven.
Recipe courtesy of my mom who was not very helpful with quantities.
What was your favourite meal when you were growing up? Have you learned to make it?
You know what else packs a nutrional punch? Red cabbage, so start tomorrow off with a red cabbage, pineapple, and apple juice.