Vichyssoise (Amazing Leek & Potato Soup)

I cooked this recipe on TVNZ Channel 1, Good Morning earlier this year.  Recently I spent a day with photographer Manja Wachsmuth and cooked it again.  I used shallots instead of onions to compliment the leeks and the result was an even better smoother delicately flavoured soup.  Enjoy xx.

Photo by Manja Wachsmuth

50 grams butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large leek, sliced (250g white part only)
2 shallots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (about 250g)
1 cup organic chicken stock
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup full fat milk
mineral salt and white pepper
chervil, truffle oil and a little extra cream to serve, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and reduce the heat to low.  Add the leek and shallot and cover with a lid.  Cook on the lowest heat stirring occasionally until soft.  Don't allow to brown.

Add the potato and stock and replace the lid.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Add the cream and puree, slowly adding the milk until you reach the right consistency.  Return to the heat and warm through.  Taste and add salt and white pepper.

If serving warm serve immediately with garnish otherwise chill completely before serving.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes

Got Broadbeans?

This recipe is one that I created for my Good Morning TV appearance at the end of this month.  However I am releasing it a little early as a friend of mine in Wellington specifically requested it.  If you have broadbeans ready now, it is more likely that you are still enjoying them in there simplest form.  Tuck this recipe away for a little later in the season  when you are wondering what on earth you will do with all those damn broadbeans!

Delicious, full of flavour and freezable this falafel mixture oozes goodness.

Broadbean Falafel

Photo by Devin Hart
5 cups broad beans (2 ½ cups shelled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon mineral salt
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, optional
4 spring onions, chopped
½ cup  mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup coriander leaves
3 slices of stale white bread, crusts removed
¼ cup water
¼ cup vegetable oil
Hummus and natural unsweetened yoghurt to serve

Heat a pot of water until boiling and add salt  and broadbeans, simmer for 5 minutes.  Reserve ¼ cup water, drain.

Place all ingredients except the water in the food processor and blend.  Slowly add water 1 tablespoon at a time until a firm but workable paste is achieved.

Use clean damp hands to form mixture into  small balls and flatten slightly

Heat oil in a pan and add the falafel balls, fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and piping hot.

Serve with humus, yoghurt and extra chili if desired.

Book Review: Laugh with Health: Your Complete Guide to Health, Diet, Nutrition and Natural Foods by Manfred Urs Koch

The title of this book belies it content, but the sub-title spells it out.  There is little to laugh about, but Koch paints a complete picture of the serious nature of its content in the subtitle.
It started as a leaflet that was hand delivered within a community in Melbourne until the author self-published it.  140 thousand copies have now been sold worldwide. It has been reprinted 22 times.
Laugh with Health is one of those reference works that should on every household’s  bookshelves.  It is easy to read and takes into consideration learning styles. If you learn from things set out in charts, and colour-coded, then this is your book.  If you like photos to assist your memory, or drawings of the human anatomy, in context of your dietry needs, then you are catered for.
And if you like explanations with pithy and humorous comments to make sure you understand the serious nature of your diet, you cannot go further than Koch’s explanations.
There is an excellent quick reference chart at the back, and a well-considered index.

Laugh with Health: Your Complete Guide to Health, Diet, Nutrition and Natural Foods
Published by Exisle Publishing 2011 Edition