A lovely soup, flavored with the classic Belgian trio: leeks, thyme, and bay leaf. This was the first course at the Belgian meal with my vegetarian cooking group last weekend. We started by making a simple vegetable broth (the one I previously posted), and then built this soup following the recipe from Ruth Van Waerebeek’s Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.
These days, it’s common to make pureed carrot soups with ginger and curry flavors, but I tend to prefer pairing carrots with fresh green herbs. Apparently, traditional Belgian cuisine highlights the best of Medieval European cooking skills. This means that they utilized fresh local European herbs before the spice trade.
BELGIAN HERBED CARROT SOUP
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts
1 large onion
6 cups vegetable broth (you can use my easy basic broth recipe, or used boxed broth)
1 – 1/2 pounds carrots
1 large baking potato
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 – 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup milk
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Wash and thinly slice the leeks into rings. Slice the onion. Peel and slice the carrots into 1-inch slices. Peel and cube the potato. You don’t need to be precise in your chopping, since you will puree the soup at the end.
Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion. Cook, stirring until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, the carrots, potato, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very soft, 35-40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool a little. Discard the bay leaf.
Puree the soup with a stick immersion blender. Stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat the soup and serve sprinkled with minced parsley.