Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 5:29PM
Unlike the vast majority, or so it seems to me, I love Brussel Spouts. It's like declaring that you enjoy wading knee deep in manure, when you get that sour-faced, nose turned up look of disgust when they are mentioned. Infact I don't know why I don't have them more often. I think I just tend to forget about them, or maybe I don't want to own up to my distasteful 20 a day sprout habit and simply pretend that you only have them on Christmas day when your mother tries to force them down your throat and the only thing you can do to stop the ever rising tide of bile is to hold you nose.
Instead of having just sprouts for Christmas day, which don't get me wrong would make me just as happy, we tend to boil them and then fry them in butter with white breadcrumbs and chopped brazil nuts or we slice them raw and fry them with pine nuts and pancetta.
Just before Christmas I thought it would be nice to try sprout soup. I thought it turned out very nicely. If you don't like sprouts, I'm not gonna lie to you, you may heave at the very sight of it.
I simply boiled the sprouts in a saucepan filled with weakish vegatable stock, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf. When the sprouts were tender I reserved the cooking liquor, refreshed them in cold water and blended them to a smooth soup with the cooking liquor, a little grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and a little butter. The soup ended up a little thick so I just thinned it out with a little water, but the consistency is, of course, entirely up to you. I then swirled a little creme fraiche into the soup and topped with ciabatta croutons that I cooked in the oven with olive oil, salt, a clove of garlic (which I removed before serving) and a handful of pine nuts.