Thursday, December 27, 2012
How do I love leeks, let me count the ways. They are unfortunately expensive compared to the more humble onion, and one always feels wasteful when chopping off the green half to use the tender white lower half as most recipes indicate (although you can always save the green parts for your next batch of stock). But with such a mild flavor, tender texture and pretty coloring, they feel elegant, like I should be cooking my soup while wearing heels and cashmere, ooh la la.
Or maybe it was that French Women Don't Get Fat book that put that silly notion in my head that leeks = trés elegant.
This book was all the rage a few years ago and grocery stores even talked about a massive run on leeks because of the book's "magical" leek soup, which claims that when French women want to lose a few pounds, they lock themselves away for a weekend sipping on magical leek broth and eating nothing but the plain boiled leeks when they "feel hungry."
I secretly admire those people who sometimes just forget to eat (*oops*), realizing at 3 pm they haven't had breakfast yet, or who can eat nothing but boiled leeks all weekend. I am not one of these people, and as a regular eater, I do not subscribe to the French Women Don't Get Fat leek soup fast, as I know myself well enough that after 24 hours, I'll get ravenously hungry and then binge on Bugles, washing them down with a pint of vanilla bean Haagen Dazs. However, I still do the leek soup thing as a meal, especially after a feast day. I like the clean taste of the leek broth, served in a mug to warm my wintered hands, and I'll happily nibble on the boiled leeks for a simple-as-a-dimple lunch with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
It can be surprisingly gratifying to pare down to the absolute basics and taste something so clean and light for once. And if you enjoy it so much that you want to do the magical leek soup thing all weekend, be my guest. Just hide the Bugles.
"Magical" Leek Soup
I think of it as recalibrating the palate after too much holiday sugar, fat and salt. It's just clean, pure goodness. Your tummy will thank you.
1 lb. leeks (or however many leeks you want)
Water to cover
Chop off the green stalks and save for your stock pot at a later date. Using the white and light green part of the leek, cut off the root end, cut in half lengthwise, and rinse well as sometimes bits of soil will hide between the leek layers. Place the leeks in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20 mins. Pour off liquid to sip as soup; eat leeks warm with a drizzle of olive oil, maybe some lemon, and salt and pepper.
Posted by Rhubarb and Venison at 6:00 AM