Having a chef come to your home with the intention of helping you cook can be an intimidating experience. I knew for several weeks that newlyweds from our synagogue had accepted an invitation to join us for Shabbat and were planning to come early and help prepare the meal. Michael (the chef) and I were in charge of the soup and pasta. Emily and Norm were going to bake Challot. My older son was going to keep us entertained.
At 3:00 Michael and Emily arrived and the five of us spent the afternoon in our favorite place, the kitchen. The counter, in my narrow galley kitchen, was divided into two stations. There was the baking corner and the soup/pasta corner. Michael, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, had worked in a high-end New York restaurant for several years. I would love to say that we were a team, dissecting the recipes and discussing the pluses and minuses of fresh tomatoes versus canned. It was nothing like that. Michael and I started making the pasta sauce together but he had such command of the kitchen that after a few bottles of wine, I decided to take complete advantage of my guest and let the pro do his magic, and magic it was.
Here is the soup that Michael prepared. Incredibly rich and delicious, the texture of this soup is like velvet.
Austrian Cream Veloute Soup
This soup requires a few steps, but it’s worth it.
1 lb. each of carrots, leeks, Spanish onion,
1 fennel bulb
2 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 bunch Italian parsley
4 1/2 quarts water
2-3 Tbs vegetable oil
Grind all raw vegetables in food grinder or Cuisineart, and place in stock pot with vegetable oil. Saute vegetables and herbs for several minutes, until they began to give off some liquid. Add water and simmer for one hour. Then take your stock along with the vegetables and put through a fine mesh strainer, removing all pulp.
Note: This stock can be used as a base for any soup.
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups flour
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large pot and slowly add flour, whisking together to make a roux. Cook for several minutes, and slowly add your homemade vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add juice of half a lemon. Allow to cool slightly and whisk in sour cream. When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and add some homemade croutons. Garnish with chopped chives.
2- 8 oz. containers sour cream
Garnish with croutons and chives
juice of half a lemon