Friday, January 29, 2010

Leeks + Stock = Soup

When I was an adolescent on a trip to Israel, I asked my rabbi for his opinion about the validity of other faiths. "There are many paths up the mountain," he added, sagely. "But we think ours is the fastest."

I feel the same way about making soup by simmering leeks in stock. There are many other wonderful ways to make soup, but this one most efficiently cuts to the essence of soup (and unlike religion, it doesn't require you to sometimes wear nice shoes). I could stop this post right there, but I continue.

A steamy bowl of leeks swimming like slim green eels in a cloudy broth of chicken stock is somehow strangely comforting. There's just something so soothing about a leek. Maybe it's their cool, blue-gray hue, or their steadfast, vertical growth pattern. Maybe it's that I primarily associate them with spring and fall, those gentler seasons in which they flourish.

For stock, I save my chicken bones for a couple of months in the freezer and then roast them. While those simmer in water for a few hours I add whatever aromatic veggie scraps I might have around. A limp carrot here, some sage stems there. Once I froze a somewhat deflated celeriac whole and when it was stock time (or stock o' clock), in it went. I love making stock: it ties up all those little loose ends.

I'd write up a recipe for this soup but there's really nothing to say besides this: slice leeks vertically into thin strips, wash them well, simmer until just tender in stock and add salt and pepper to taste.

It may not sound like much, but there's really something to it.

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TeaCast said...

Not a fan of onions, but each to his own, right :)? I'm more of a tea man myself haha

Anonymous said...

Stock o'clock! :-) I need to be more systematic about my stock-making (stock-taking?) But even make-it-when-you've-got-it chicken stock is pure gold.

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