This week we're up to #35 on Gourmet's list of the 50 Women Game Changers in the world of food: Delia Smith---Britain's top selling cookbook author and television show host Thanks to Mary from One Perfect Bite for organizing a group of us cooking and blogging our way through this list, one dish at a time. Check back every Friday for another story and recipe from the list, and e-mail Mary if you'd like to join the group.
In Britain, the phrase The Delia Effect refers to the surge in profits of a product once given the seal of approval by Ms. Smith, kind of like our Colbert Bump. One good word from her can send sales soaring. Some say this wildly popular cooking icon is the British equivalent of Martha Stewart, and given her level of celebrity I'm a little surprised I hadn't heard of her until now.
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
Restaurants that are run by real cooks serving real food, and not what Elizabeth David called "theatre on a plate". ~~~from the Guardian, 11/2011
I chose this Flemish soup for a couple of reasons. While it's definitely a winter soup, made with winter vegetables like potatoes, leeks and Brussels sprouts, it's delicate green color is like a breath of spring. These days I'm looking for these kinds of foods that suggest the seasonal transition.
The other reason I had to try this soup was the frizzled Brussels sprouts. I've been hearing rumblings about them here and there on the Internet, and let me tell you these little unassuming bits of shredded and fried sprouts are epic. Whatever you do, don't skip them, they make this soup.
Soupe Flamande with Creme Fraiche and Frizzled Brussels Sprouts ~~~from Delia Online
12 oz (350 g) potatoes
2 large leeks
12 oz (350 g) Brussels sprouts
2 oz (50 g) butter
15 fl oz (425 ml) hot stock made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder (I used chicken stock)
1 pint (570 ml) milk
2 rounded tablespoons crème fraîche
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly milled black pepper
4 level tablespoons crème fraîche
8 large sprouts, trimmed and shredded
2 Tbsp olive oil
- Start by peeling and thickly slicing the potatoes. When the leeks are trimmed and washed, cut them all the way through, vertically; then chop them into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces. Then trim the base of the sprouts, discard any damaged outer leaves and quarter the larger sprouts and halve any smaller ones.
- Next, melt the butter in a good large saucepan, add the potatoes, leeks and sprouts, and stir well to coat them nicely in the butter. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, turn the heat to low, put a lid on and allow the vegetables to sweat gently for 5 minutes.
- Then add the stock and milk bring everything up to simmering point and cook very gently for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Because of the milk, it is best to put the lid only three quarters on, to prevent everything boiling over, and to keep the heat really low.
- After that, liquidise the soup and then return it to the pan; add the 2 rounded tablespoons of creme fraiche, then reheat the soup gently, taste and add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and more seasoning if it needs it.
- Make the garnish while the soup is reheating. To do this, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a high heat, and when the oil is really hot and shimmering, add the shredded sprouts and fry them, stirring occasionally so they don't catch on the base of the pan. When they are crisp and golden brown, which should take 2-3 minutes, lift them, using a draining spoon, on to crumpled kitchen paper to drain. If you want to make the garnish in advance, you can re-frizzle the sprouts in a hot frying pan just before serving.
- Serve the soup in hot bowls with a little crème fraîche spooned on top of each one and garnished with the frizzled sprouts.
As we were eating our soup last night my husband turned to me and said, make sure you advise your readers to maximize the frizzles. I couldn't have said it better myself. Consider yourselves advised.
Check out these other bloggers who are exploring Gourmet's 50 Women Game Changers along with me---
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits,
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Lovely Things
Nancy - Picadillo
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook
Kathy- Bake Away With Me
Alyce - More Time at the Table
Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades