Lavender Potato Soup
I've agreed to come on as a co-conspirator and general ne'er-do-well in writing for the site and involving myself in the real world exploits of the group here. I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself, and post a recipe. My name is Jack, and I'm a professional chef in the biz for over 18 years now, 13 of those spent in fine dining, and now I'm doing Sushi. Being a fellow food junkie and home brewer, Mac reached out to me to come on board as advisor/cohort/drinking buddy/like minded weirdo. Therefore, as a show of good faith (well, as "good" as I can muster, at least) I decided to post one of my favorite original soup recipes.
I developed this last year when I was lord and master of the kitchen in an exclusive lounge in one of the local casinos (you pretty much have to have Bill Gates money to even get in there). It was a small plate format, the photo to the left was from that period.
So, without further babbling and boring you to tears, here's the recipe!
Lavender Potato Soup. Yeild - approximately 2 gallons
5 pounds Peruvian Purple Potatoes
2 large Spanish (Yellow) Onions, diced
2 Leeks, cleaned and sliced
half pound of your favorite bacon, chopped somewhat small
3 quarts good gelatinous stock (pale veal stock or chicken)
3 quarts heavy whipping cream
half pound of butter
half pound of flour
4 ounces crushed garlic
750ml bottle of good, drinkable red wine (Shiraz, Syrah, Malbec, or Merlot. Nothing too heavy)
3 bay leaves
1 ounce fresh Lavender (pull the leaves from one stem and set aside for garnish)
2 ounces White Truffle Oil (fresh is better, but due to it's expense and rarity, oil will due)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a saute pan and whisk in the flour. Cook for 20 minutes on medium low heat, stirring constantly and refridgerate.
Lightly oil and bake the potaoes for 45 minutes at 350, start checking them at 40 minutes. When the point of a paring knife easily sinks all the way in, they're done. In the meantime, in a heavy bottomed stock pot able to hold 3 gallons start cooking the chopped bacon on medium heat. Once the bacon is nearly crisp, add the onions and leeks and cook slowly on medium low heat until very soft, do not brown. Turn heat up to high and add the garlic, Saute for 45 seconds to a minute, or until the smell of garlic is strong. Again, DO NOT BROWN! Delgaze with the red wine, add the bay leaves and reduce by three quarters. Pour the wine reduction, onions bay leaves and all, into a blender and blend until very smooth. Return to the pot, add the stock and cream, bring to a simmer.
Once the potaoes are cooked, put them whole into a food mill (a.k.a. ricer) and crank them out over the pot. The food mill won't pass the skins through, just the pulp, which should (by this point) be a nice rich purple. Wisk thoroughly and steep the lavender leaves in the soup for 15-20 minutes. For a satin smooth texture pass through a fine mesh strainer (chinoise, in chef-speak).
This is the point to adjust seasoning, color and consistency. If the color is too dark, add more cream or a little sour cream. If too thick add a little more stock. If too thin, I had you make a roux for the first step.... use it! And remember, when using a thickener, it will have to be brought back up to a boil, so add it gradually until you've achieved the desired thickness. Wisk in the truffle oil very last and simmer no more than 5 minutes, if at all.
Ladle into your favorite bowl, sprinkle a few of those Lavender leaves over the top, and maybe a spoon full of sour cream mixed with chives, salt, pepper and a little of that left over truffle oil.
Hope you guys like this one. If you try it and something doesn't work out (I came up with this over a year ago, and I'm writing from memory) let me know, and I'll correct the recipe.