Pity those who don’t love the sweet taste and delicate texture of leeks. Eventually, you probably will. But if my Magical Leek Soup is not to your liking, follow the example of my cousin in Aix-en-Provence. After the birth of two sons she needed to shed a few pounds, but didn’t love leeks. A neighbor suggested a variation of “magical leek soup” with the “trick” of hiding the leek among other flavorful and healthful ingredients. You too may prefer the Provençal version, known as soupe mimosa.
Mimosa Soup Recipe
1 head of lettuce
½ lb. carrots
½ lb. celeriac
½ lb. turnips
½ lb. cauliflower
1 lb. leeks
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
Water to cover in a large pot
1. Clean and chop all ingredients in rough pieces and, except for the cauliflower and parsley, put them a pot. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer unlidded for 40 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for another 15 minutes.
2. Pass all the contents through a food mill.
3. Serve in a bowl and add more parsley and pieces of chopped boiled eggs.
Eat a cup every three hours (room temperature or reheated) or so all day Saturday and Sunday until the same Sunday dinner of fish or meat, 2 steamed vegetables with a dash of butter or olive oil and 1 piece of fruit. Somewhat less liquidy and magical than the leek soup it nevertheless is an effective and tasty alternative.
Both versions are so good, and an adventure for most palates, that you will have a very hard time seeing them as prison rations. Especially if these tastes are new to you, jot your impressions of flavor and fragrance in your journal. In time, this exercise will intensify your pleasures, and you may want to keep a regular diary of your experiences gastronomiques, including some wine notes (just as serious oenologues do).