“Ladling this delicate, vegetable-laden chowder over toasted bread raises it to main-course status. If you don’t want such a hearty dish, use a little less liquid and a few croutons to finish. Use only white endives for this soup. Red ones will make it look very dingy indeed.” –Deborah Madison
|2||leeks (white parts only, chopped and rinsed well)|
|2||celery ribs (with leaves, diced)|
|1⁄2 lb||potatoes (yellow-fleshed, peeled and diced into small subes)|
|1⁄2 lb||celeriac (peeled and cut into small dice)|
|2||carrots (large, diced)|
|2 T||unsalted butter|
|5 c||stock or water|
|sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)|
|2 T||parsley (finely chopped)|
|1 T||chives (snipped)|
|1 t||tarragon (chopped)|
|4 sli||country bread|
|2 oz||gruyere cheese (thinly sliced)|
|3||belgian endive (about 3/4 lb.)|
|2 t||thyme (fresh, chopped)|
1. Set aside 8 outer leaves of the endive, then quarter the remainder lengthwise and chop coarsely. Prepare the rest of the vegetables as suggested.
2. Melt the butter in a wide soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables smell good and there’s a little glaze on the bottom of the pot, about 7 minutes.
3. Add the stock or water to cover along with 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft to the point of falling apart, about 25 minutes. Press a few against the side of the pot to break them up or puree 1 or 2 cups of the vegetables to give the soup body. Pour in the cream, taste for salt, and season with pepper. Stir in half the herbs.
4. Finely sliver the reserved endive leaves. Toast the bread and cut each piece into halves or quarters. Divide the pieces among 4 bowls and cover with the cheese. Ladle the soup over the toast and serve garnished with the remaining herbs and slivered endive.