Tag Archives: Jill Boruff

Too much lettuce? Make soup!

18 Sep

by Jill Boruff

Each week we receive a lovely basket of organic veggies from a local farmer. Most of the time, we manage to eat the deliciousness before the next batch arrives the following week. However, in the past two weeks, we received three heads of lettuce–more lettuce then two people can possibly keep up with. I love big green salads, but there are only so many that I can handle in a week. I certainly didn’t want the lettuce to go to waste. A colleague at work had mentioned lettuce soup, so I turned to the Internet, and found the following soup recipe in the New York Times. Though I was a little skeptical at first, the soup turned out to be really good. It is much like a leek and potato soup, but with the taste of lettuce coming through instead of leek (obviously).

If you want to see the original recipe (and much better food photography) check out the original article.

The author says that this is a good way to use up the tough outer leaves of a head of lettuce. I am not sure that I agree. I cut out the extremely tough and woody parts of the lettuce and only threw in a few of the tough outer leaves. They didn’t purée as well, and I am not sure what the soup would have been like if it had been made with all tough leaves.

Also, it doesn’t really matter how well you chop things, as it is all going to get puréed at the end.

lettuce soup

lettuce soup

Lettuce and Potato Soup (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman in the New York Times)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly minced

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly diced

6 cups water

Three long springs of fresh thyme, rinsed (a bay leaf would be nice, too)

Salt to taste

5 ounces or about 4 cups lettuce leaves, washed and coarsely chopped (I think I added a bit more)

Freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, water, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

2. Stir in the lettuce leaves and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes should be thoroughly tender and falling apart.

3. Using an immersion blender, or in a blender blend the soup until smooth. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Enjoy!

Check out Jill’s bio on the Contributors page

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A Taste of Charlevoix

5 Aug

by Jill Boruff

I like knowing where my food comes from. My recent trip to the Charlevoix region of Québec was an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with the origins of my lunch.

The tourist office has an excellent guide to food in the area called the “Flavour Trail.” It helps you find many farms and local producers of food in the region. We made a point of visiting several of these sites during our stay.

Our first stop was Boulangerie Rémy. Not only do they bake bread, but they stone-grind the flour in a restored grist mill. We had a tour of the mill, where we got to see the waterwheel and the stones in action.

mill at Boulangerie Remy

mill at Boulangerie Rémy

Of course, we had to buy bread (and flour!). They are most known for the “Batard de Charlevoix” which is a sourdough loaf using a mixture of wheat and rye flours. It was delicious! We loved it so much that we went back for two more loaves. We were amazed at how long the bread stayed fresh and chewy without getting mouldy.

Batard de Charlevoix sourdough

Batard de Charlevoix sourdough

Our next stop on the Flavour Trail was La Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour to gather some local cheese for our picnic. Before buying the cheese, we got to meet the sheep who produce the milk for some of the cheese. The cows were in a different pasture, so we didn’t get to meet them. I really enjoyed seeing the animals and where they lived.

We chose two cheeses for our picnic. The first one was a firm cow’s milk cheese called Le Migneron.

Le Migneron

Le Migneron

The second cheese was a runny cow-sheep milk mixture called Le secret de Maurice. This one was so runny that you had to eat it by cutting a hole in the top of the cheese.

Le secret de Maurice

Le secret de Maurice

For our second picnic on another day of visiting the region, we visited La ferme basque. Here, we were quite charmed by the women and girls running the little shop and giving tours of the duck farm. The girls, the daughter of the farmer and her cousin, who were only about 11 or 12, were so excited to show us the newborn ducklings that had arrived that very afternoon. They also showed us around to the other duck pastures, for lack of a better word.
ducks

La ferme basque

La ferme basque

We were able to taste many of the duck products in the little shop, and we finally chose duck rillettes to add to the leftover cheese and bread for our picnic. All of their products were made in small batches the farmhouse and were absolutely delicious.

rillettes

rillettes

It was so satisfying to meet the people (and the animals) who were feeding us. I only wish that I got to do it more often.

Jill Check out Jill’s bio on the Contributors page