Flageolet and Leek Soup

Your Royko Recipe for February, 2017

Flageolet and Leek Soup

Royko says: “Flageolets are the Champagne of dried beans”.

Food & Wine, Mar. 1991, Page 126. Credit: Deborah Madison.

To parboil beans, place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.

Elapsed Time: 2 hours  
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Attention Time: 1 1/2 hours  Finishing Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4.

2 medium leeks-greens coarsely chopped, whites quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large coarsely chopped carrot
1 small chopped onion
1 rib chopped celery
5 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
10 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbl. Sweet butter or margarine
3 tbl. minced, fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 cup soaked, parboiled dried flageolet beans
boiling water
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

In a stockpot, combine the leek greens, carrot, onion, celery, parsley sprigs, peppercorns, 1 of the bay leaves and 1 tsp. of salt. Add 10 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the broth and reserve. Discard the solids.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over moderately high heat. Add the leek whites, the remaining bay leaf, 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans and reserved vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially and simmer very gently until the beans are almost tender (about 1 1/4 hours). Add the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and continue cooking until the beans are very tender (about 10 minutes longer). If the liquid evaporates, add enough boiling water to keep the beans amply covered.

Remove 1 cup of beans and broth from the pot and purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Gently stir the purée back into the beans in the pot. Stir in the milk. Reheat the soup and season with salt to taste. Stir in the ground pepper and the remaining 1 tablespoon of minced parsley just before serving.