Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

April 26, 2010

Leek Soup

Two reasons prompted me to make this dinner. I love leek soup and wanted to enjoy it before the weather gets too warm. I had enough cheese left from our cheese dinner to compliment the soup.


Leek Soup
Bread & Cheese
Bartlett pear
Wine: Côtes du Rhône Guigal Blanc 2004
Dessert: Biscotti

The recipe is based on “The Fine Art of Italian Cooking” by Giuliano Bugialli with whom I once took cooking classes.


2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
2 tablespoons butter
About 1 teaspoon Wondra flour, more if needed
3 to 4 cups clear chicken broth*
2 thick slices of left over bread
About 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

I prefer thick leeks with dark green stalks because they have a more pronounced flavor than the young, white leeks. That choice, however, comes with a price: there seems to be more sand in two stalks of leek than in three pounds of spinach. One way to get rid of that sand is to make a deep cross-like incision at the center line, fold it open, and run the leek under cold water.

Once done, cut the leeks into half-inch rounds and dry them well because they won’t brown otherwise. Browning the leek in butter without burning requires about 15 minutes of constant attention and, incorporating the right amount of flour over the browned leeks to coat, takes another ten minutes. Then add the simmering broth slowely. I like to toss in saved Parmesan ends which intensifies the soup's flavor. All of this takes time; that's why I do the prep the day before.

When ready to serve, place a slice of bread into a deep bowl, cover with grated Parmesan, ladle the soup over it, and top with the remaining cheese. It’s a yummy dish and quite filling.

To get a good pear is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. The Bartlett wasn’t great, but it was ripe and juicy enough to compliment the Roquefort and Taleggio.

* Schaller& Weber’s frozen Clear Chicken Broth has a good flavor and is not salty.


Robert said...

Bugialli's cookbook was a large part of our life for a while, as we cooked most of his recipes. You've inspired me to open it up again. It's funny how cookbooks get put aside and new ones replace them. Peggy

Our Daily Dinner said...

I too was a great fan of Bugialli. I took a number of cooking courses with him and learned a lot. I remember he had me stir polenta for 20 minutes without interruption. But he was amusing.

Robert said...

To discover that Bugialli was amusing in person confirms my opinion of his character although I never met him. He dedicates his most famous cookbook to his mother: "The worst cook in the family but the best in everything else." As we soldiered through almost all of his recipes, some we gave up on as being too purist - spices in his desserts could only have pleased the palate of the Medieval Ages on which they were based.

Our Daily Dinner said...


He was a purist in every respect. I remember we baked Tuscan bread with a pinch of salt "because otherwise, it wouldn't be Tusacn bread.