Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paris Cookin' Leek Soup

February is the right time to eat Leek soup though I never ate it before I moved to Paris.

But Dr. Mercola says you should eat leeks. A lot! I'm in the right place. This is leek city as far as I'm concerned.
You see them right and left in all the marchés and supermarkets.
Who knew these hardy critters love the cold and fade in the spring? 10 degrees above zero suits them fine. I did not take this picture.
Naturally I doctored up Dr. Mercola's soup recipe. I sautéd a box of white mushrooms first in some olive oil + butter for a nice meaty flavor.
Then I threw in 2 sliced yellow onions to caramelize a bit.
Enfin the leeks or poireaux. You're supposed to slice them in half down the stem but it makes more work slicing them so I skipped that step. No problem.
I even forgot to wash 1of the 3 leeks. No problem and no sandy soup either. Who knew?
Sautéing the mess together.
Then I threw in 11/2 liters of hot water plus 2 chicken bouillon cubes and let it simmer about 20 minutes. I did not puree the finished soup.A. I don't have a hand blender. And B I liked the chunky texture for a warming winter soup. I did try it with the celery root and was mad about it so left it out in the next batch. This is such an easy soup to throw together and deeply satisfying.
Absolutely last thing add a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley and maybe a splash of red or white wine. Oh don't forget to salt and pepper your veggies!
You could throw in other herbs if you're so inclined. Leeks have a delicate flavor so don't get heavy handed with assertive herbs. Well that's what I think...
Another tip from Dr. Mercola, along with eating plenty of leeks, he wants you to get up from your desk ever 15 minutes throughout the day. I keep m chicken timer on the other side of the room so I HAVE to get up to turn off the alarm. There have been moments when I haven't felt too friendly towards this chicken...but so far I've contained myself.
Back to leek soup.
Fortunately I have a nice botanical pattern on the soup bowls here.
They go very nicely with my stitched together (17th C) dish towels I bought at the musée Carnavale gift shop ages ago.
How did I know I would need 17th century-themed decor right and left some day..?
French engraver Nicolas II de Larmessin did a total of 97 different designs of the various metiers of his day including boulangeres, patissieres, boucheres, gardeners. It goes on and on and they are all charming.
Another French artist of the time I'm mad for is Jacques Callot. I love his whimsical little figures and fluid lines. Wouldn't you know the new Meert shop is on rue Jacques Callot in the 6th. Another reason to visit. 
Paris, right now is full of posters celebrating graphic design. I've only seen this turnip/radish. So far no leeks yet.


La Table De Nana said...

I love your aquarelle..makes the leeks look posively regal in my opinion~
I do love them..and should by them more often..The famous Dr Mercola:) Isn't he in many people's conversations?

Nutrition.. the list goes on and on..
I think you had M.Poulet minuterie before?
I have a wee one too..they are photogenic in the kitchen..and makes one smile.
Your stitched together towels are a great idea!
Bon Appétit!

Theresa Cheek said...

Ummm....sounds good! I will have to make it. Guess what? I also own the same tea towels! Great minds...similar spirits.

Parisbreakfasts said...

They're gorgeous aren't they!
We have such good taste don't we ;))
So glad I never used them.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Yes I dropped the dear Doc for a number of years and recently picked him up again. He can be fear-inducing 1st thing in the morning but anything that gets me up out of my chair is worth it.

Barbara Lilian in France said...

Soup de Poireaux one of my all time favourites. Loved the way you sketched the Leeks to look like palm trees, with the statues leaning against them.

Barbie said...

Your soup looks delicious...wish I had some right now.
You are so funny about the timer. Made me laugh out loud. Fifteen minutes goes by quickly. :-))


Thanks for the recipe.

MesvitrinesNYC said...

Hope I will taste your leek soup that looks delicious! I didn't t know it was special from here...thanks for the information. Ah ah ah !

Frances said...

Carol, your header painting shows how leeks can have such a romantic side. The picture is very witty!

And here's a funny coincidence. When the rain stopped, the sun came out and temperatures rose way above freezing this afternoon, I went out for a walk round my neighborhood to take care of a few errands.

As I reached for some Italian flat leaf parsley at the market, I saw a beautiful display of leeks just below my arm. I admired those leeks, but did not buy them. Tomorrow, I will return and buy some so that i can try my very own version of the soup you've so deliciously decribed.

I was so overcome by the experience of afternoon sunshine and blue sky I also forgot to buy the tulips I'd had on my list. The list was in my pocket. I didn't need to wear gloves.

Spring will come. xo

Marsha said...

The poster says Paris Pa Radis (radish) = Paris Paradise

Nikon said...

If you were in the US, you could make a fortune right now selling hot soup :)
I like your style of cooking - wing it.
I'm glad that the chicken reminds you to get up every 15 minutes, but why, I don't know!
The soup looks good, I hope that it tasted good!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Wow Frances.
It has been a long, hard winter in New York.
I'm glad to hear yr getting a break enfin!

Solli said...

Have you ever thought about creating a calendar with your beautiful illustrations?
It's something you could sell at Etsy too and it would be a perfect Christmas gift :-)

Parisbreakfasts said...

When you sit drawing or painting all day you forget to get up except to the refrigerator.
Sometimes I fall asleep over my drawings from the inertia.
Then I make an ink splat...

Georgia said...

Love how thw scrolls of the leeks and your script co-ordinate nicely!

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

Having entertained Les Vegetarians many times, I have made my share of vegetarian stock...and nothing makes veggie stock like leeks! Always, always at least one but better with 2 leeks!

Bill said...

I should know better by now than to read your blog posts before going to bed. The soup looks so good, but my acid reflux probably wouldn't like my eating something like that before bed. Now lunchtime may just be another matter!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Big Merci Marsha!
I completely missed the word play on the poster and I love radis.

Jenny Woolf said...

Lovely! I often put potato in onion and leek soup, and add herbs and milk, and then it makes a balanced meal in itself. I always puree it though, I like the texture better that way!

Jenny Woolf said...

And thanks for commenting on my blog, your interesting remarks are much appreciated.

Parisbreakfasts said...

I added a dollop of creme fraich at one point but it's fine too without. There are so many variations on this theme. I want to try mussles and leeks next.

Parisbreakfasts said...

I found you c/o Buster...a real taste of London!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I wonder if we worry too much about getting enough protein. After all most desserts have eggs, milk and life-saving chocolate. Who needs a main course?

Sharon said...

I can't see your Leek Soup recipe. Small print!

Parisbreakfasts said...

CLICK on the recipe and it will get bigger.
Or go to the DR. MERCOLA red link below to access the recipe page. But I really didn't follow it too closely you'll notice. A lot of poetic licence going on here.

Doreen said...

Did you use the creme fraiche and heavy cream in your version?

Parisbreakfasts said...

I tried a dollop of creme fraich one time and then didn't bother.
No cream at all, since I wasn't blending it to a purée.
I liked the refreshing taste of the vegetables on their own.

Elaine said...

This soup sounds delicious- and I just love botanical patterns on napkins, placemats, spring!!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Well if your bouquet of the moment is parsely, it certainly doesn't hurt to eat off botanicals.
Forrest green is the accent color here anyway.
All I need is a stag or two to get the full effect ;))

carolyn said...

Fabulous. I love the figures on the towels and your paintings, especially the figures and leek trees! I will be picking up mushrooms and leeks today. Looks delicious as well as healthy. What is that cool little pen or brush? Water color pen?

Parisbreakfasts said...

Aquash water brush pen
Amazon has them and every art shop these days. Not pricy at all and good for travel.

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Jaques Pépin says there is nothing like a leek and I agree. I am going to try the celery root today because I have never tried it before. If it is not to my liking I am going with potato leek.

I love your posts and your work. It always makes me smile.

Lynne C said...

This is great!
And I love your idea of sewing the dishtowels together!

Notes From ABroad said...

Hello, love,
I have to give this a try. I am all about soup these days and this does tempt me. besitos, C