You know how I was talking about the delightful fall weather in my last post? Well, it’s gone. It’s hot. The temperature is 85 F outside, with an actual feel of 100 F. Blech. Frankly, I’m in denial about the whole thing, and have decided to plug away at my fall recipe repertoire and make all the soups, stews, and cinnamon-spiced desserts I want (though I have yet to actually follow through on the cinnamon-spiced desserts).
Another reason I’m in complete denial about this horridly humid, balmy weather is due to the fact that I got my issues of Martha Stewart Living and Whole Living in the mail. I adore the fall issues of magazines, and the sight of the apples and the derby in Martha Stewart Living made me swoon (and I really needn’t mention how charming her granddaughter’s birthday cake was). What really made me excited was that both magazines had articles about some of my favorite food bloggers (Smitten Kitchen, and Cannelle et Vanille)!
Today’s recipe is a simple and charming French soup. Yes, I just used the words ‘simple’ and ‘French’ in the same sentence. But quite honestly, this soup is not as hard as its name makes it sound. The flavours are kept simple and natural–carrots, celery, leeks, and onions–and the whole lot is then pureed with cooked brown rice into a velvety and rich puree. This recipe isn’t entirely traditional, but it is delicious nonetheless.
So, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The key to a good soup is a very good stock. I like to use the sodium-free vegetable broth powder that I can buy in the bulk section of my local health food store. Though I’ve never used it before, Heidi Swanson (of 101 cookbooks) recommends the vegetable broth cubes sold by Rapunzel. Or, you can make your own!
3 very large carrots, scrubbed, and sliced into discs
2 large stalks of celery, scrubbed, and sliced
2 large leeks, rinsed well, and sliced into half-moons
1 large onion, sliced into half-moons
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups water
1/3 cup long grain brown rice
2 cups good vegetable stock
In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in your carrots, celery, leeks, onions, and a good sprinkling of salt. Saute the vegetables , stirring occasionally, until tender–about 20 minutes. Don’t let them brown or caramelize; you want very clean flavours.
Add in the water and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
To puree the soup, transfer it into a blender and blend until smooth (you may have to do it in several batches). Pour the puree back into the soup pot and add in the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings