Veloute a la Madame Loik (caramelised parsnip, and lentil soup with cream cheese and chicken and caramelised fennel stock)

v soup 2

I can see the puzzled looks on the faces of those of you familiar with France as Madame Loik is the name of a delicious brand of a naturally salty cream cheese from Brittany and not a name of a soup. I could equally call this ‘Lindy’s accidental soup’ as it is the inclusion of a tablespoon of Madame Loik in place of crème fraiche that gives it its name and distinctive flavour. This soup ties in very nicely with my ‘Chicken and caramelised fennel’ recipe that so many of you liked and uses up any leftover stock from this dish (if you are not ready to use immediately it freezes really well) I was making a soup to use up some leftover parsnips and white carrots, and decided after zapping it with my little hand blender that it needed thickening, so reached for the tub of crème fraiche only to discover it empty (I hate it when people put empty tubs back in the fridge don’t you!) As it had just begun to snow outside, I searched for whatever was at hand and found half a tub of Madame Loik, so I added a generous tablespoon and the result was sublime. I will put my neck on the line here and say that this is the nicest soup that I have ever made! And shall be serving it to the next lucky person who comes to eat chez moi…….. Simple, economical, warming, healthy and delicious – what more could you want on a cold winters day..

ingredients v

Ingredients
(serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a hearty lunch – with bread if you are English…)

2 medium/large parsnips chopped in to small cubes

2 large white carrots chopped into small cubes (if cannot get white carrots then use regular, but the end resuslt will have a slightly darker colour)

1 large handful of red lentils leftover chicken and caramelised fennel stock – made up to

1 litre with vegetable stock or bouillion (just use either vegetable or chicken stock if you do not have this)

1 good tablespoon (2 cuillers de soupe) of Madame Loik or another good cream cheese (Sainsburys ‘taste the difference’ crème cheese in the the small similar tub – see photo – is a good substitute)

30g butter (I like to use slightly salted Bretton butter)

 Ground turmeric salt and pepper to taste

Method

Melt the butter in a large saucepan

Sauté the parsnips and the carrots until they begin to brown, taking care not to burn.

Add the lentils and turmeric

Add the chicken and caramelised fennel stock if you have and then the remainder of the stock

Bring to the boil and simmer for around 30 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are really soft.

Remove from heat and allow to cool a little Stir in the cream cheese

Zap with a hand blender until smooth Season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

Enjoy, this soup  really has the ‘Oliver Twist’ factor……….

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