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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creme Andalouse

This is a recipe that's VERY close to my heart because it's from one of my first favorite cookbooks, "Sundays At Moosewood Restaurant" by Mollie Katzen.  It's a recipe I tried way "back when" when I wanted desperately to cook amazing food and yet was paralyzed by the fear of failure.   I LOVED the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook because Mollie made everything sound so accessible and "doable" and by doing so she helped break my fear of failure, one recipe at a time.  Of course Ms. Katzen has not only authored the "Moosewood" series, she's also the author of an untold number other cookbooks (at least I haven't counted them), nearest to my heart is "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest", which simply an AMAZING "how to" cookbook for anyone wanting to use whole food to create incredible culinary delights.  Ms. Katzen is truly a hero of mine and I've used many, many of her recipes in my personal chef business, much to the delight of all of my clients.  And because all of my personal chef clients have been real live families, they're great family-tested recipes too!

Serves 6

Leeks, tarragon, and cream add a French touch to this sophisticated version ofa  Spanish soup.

2 TBS butter
3 leek bulbs (whites only), rinshed and chopped (the best way to clean leeks that I've found is to first cut off 
   the green parts, then the root end and then slice horizontally and let cool water run in between all the layers
   of of the plant.  Leeks are pulled from the ground the dirt likes to hide in between the layers)
6 fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups undrained canned tomatoes
7 cups vegetable stock or water
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

Herbed croutons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

   Saute the leeks in the butter until soft.  Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the remianing ingredietns, except the lemon juice and cream.  Simmer until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

  Puree the cooked vegetables in a blender (I've always used my immersion blender), adding the lemon juice and cream.  Gently reheat, taking care not to boil which could cause it to curdle. 

   Garnish with croutons and parsley. 

Deceptively simple and oh SO wonderful!!

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