Is That Blue Soup?

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In the first course, Bridget ties some leeks together with blue string. The string’s dye is steeped into the soup, making her otherwise leek soup a “Blue Leek Soup.” I modified the recipe by adding some celery root, creme fraiche and a few drops of homemade natural blue food coloring.

This is a pureed soup, so make sure that your soup base is slightly cooled before pureeing. You want to avoid the possible classic Bridget moment that I (unintentionally) happened to have. I guess you can say that I really was unconsciously channeling my inner Bridge: Whilst using my Power Blender (emphasis on power here) I had placed a bit too much soup into the machine and much of this very very HOT soup mixture came flying at me and all over my kitchen counter! In pure Bridget fashion, I cursed the blender and went for another glass of wine.

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Bridget’s Blue Soup
Recipe slightly adapted from Fine Cooking
Serves 5

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INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ea. small leeks (use the white and light green parts only) trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into half-inch half-moon slices, rinsed thoroughly
1 small onion, small dice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, additional to taste
1 pound celery root (about 1 ea. medium)
2 1/4 cup vegetable stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup creme fraiche (sour cream will work, too)
1 cup half and half
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Homemade blue food coloring (Recipe also here)

METHOD
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, onion, salt and pepper. Cook while stirring occasionally until softened and a light golden color, about 15 to 20 minutes.

While you’re cooking the leeks and onions, wash and peel the celery root with a peeler or sharp paring knife. Use a sharp chef knife to halve the peeled celery root lengthwise and cut each half into 1-inch-thick wedges and then into medium-size dice.

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Once the leeks and onions are softened, add the celery root, 2 cups water and the vegetable stock to the leek onion mixture. Cover and cook until the celery root is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes at a medium-low heat. (Be sure to check the vegetables occasionally; if all the water cooks off and the vegetables start to go brown, add another 1/4 cup of stock). Continue to cook another 20 minutes or until the celery root is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Purée the soup (with a hand blender, food processor or in small batches in a stand blender) to a very smooth, creamy consistency.

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Return the pureed soup to the soup pot. Add in the half and half and the crème fraîche (or sour cream) to the soup and mix well over medium-low heat to fully incorporate. Season to taste.

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Add in a few tablespoons of your homemade blue food coloring (I used about 6) until it’s a nice blue color.

If you’re not serving the soup immediately, allow to cool completely and then store in the refrigerator at least overnight or for up to two days.

When reheating the soup (always reheat to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit) if it becomes too thick, gradually thin it out with no more than 1 cup water. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Ladle the soup into small bowls.

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