This is my basic creamed soup base. Anything can be added at all to make a delicious rich and creamy soup. In this instance I used salsify, an unusual root vegetable. But sunchokes make a great substitute, or aspargus… broccoli. Anything.
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 (1 oz) chunks, pancetta or slab bacon
- 1 large onion peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 3 clove garlic
- 1 pinch each salt and white pepper as needed
- 1 bouquet garni made with 3 large basil leaves, 2 parsley sprigs, 1 thyme sprig and 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound salsify root
- 1 potato
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 ounce roasted salmon torn into shards
- 1 tablespoon dill leaves chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large casserole over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it renders its fat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, leeks, celery, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the bouquet garni and cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 mins
Right before ready to use, run the salsify under cool water and scrub clean. Do not peel entirely, but you may break off some of the small rootlets if you like. Cut the salsify into one-inch chunks and add them to the pan. Cook them all together about 10 minutes more.
Pour in the stock, add the potatoes and a pinch of salt, and bring the mixture to the low boil. Lower the heat and simmer, about 30 mins. Skim off any scummy bubbles as you go. Remove all three pieces of pancetta or bacon, save them for another use. Discard the bouquet garni.
Add the cream. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is creamy. Strain the soup through a mesh sieve into a large saucepan and taste for salt and pepper. Adding as needed. Add the cream to the soup and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and serve warm, ganished with salmon shards and dill.