Potage à la Saxe-Coburg
It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been rather preoccupied with my supper club, Repast. But whilst my blogging may have been lax in recent weeks, my culinary skills have been fully occupied in the kitchen.
Today’s recipe is from the festive Victorian menu I served this weekend inspired by Alexis Soyer. It is adapted from a recipe in his Gastronomic Regenerator published in 1846. It concerns one of this season’s most controversial ingredients, the Brussels sprout (one assumes the dish was given this name as a nod of respect for Prince Albert). For some reason we feel duty bound to include the vegetable on our festive plate even though it’s presence is often greeted with disgust. Even if you are an avid sprout hater I urge you not to dismiss this dish. It really is the most pleasant way to eat this vegetable (and a far easier way to disguise them than with copious amounts of gravy). Plus it won’t leave your house smelling of soggy cabbage, I promise!
Potage à la Saxe-Coburg (Brussels Sprout Soup with Frizzled Sprouts, Almonds & Truffle Oil)
Ingredients (Serves 6)
50g unsalted butter
1 small leeks, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
500g Brussels sprouts
100ml sweet wine (or the same quantity of dry white wine mixed with 1tsp sugar)
900ml vegetable stock
Bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay)
150ml double cream
Salt, pepper & nutmeg to season
A good squeeze of lemon juice
Oil for frying
Truffle oil and a few toasted flaked almonds to garnish (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Halve 400 g of the Brussels sprouts. Roast 10 to 20 minutes until browned.
Melt the butter in a large pan. Sweat the leek in the butter, but do not allow to colour, until the leek is soft.
Add the garlic and the roasted sprouts. Cook for a minute or two and then add the wine, stock and bouquet garni. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the sprouts are tender.
Blend the soup until smooth adding salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice to season. Stir in the cream and reheat gently but do not allow to boil.
Finely slice the remaining 200 g of Brussels sprouts. Heat some oil until very hot in a wok. Fry the sliced sprouts until crisp then drain on absorbent kitchen towel.
Serve the soup in the warmed bowls topped with a some frizzled sprouts, flaked almonds and a few drops of truffle oil.