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Crémeuse van Witlof & Witbier (Creamy Belgian Endive Soup with White Beer)

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Crémeuse van Witlof & Witbier (Creamy Belgian Endive Soup with White Beer)

Witlof

Photo © Uitgeverij Waanders
Witlof and white beer may be beloved in the Netherlands, but they are not exactly an obvious combination for a soup. I've borrowed this unusual soup recipe by Angélique Schmeinck from Smaakvrienden, a guide to culinary inspiration that is filled with ideas, tips, pairings and recipes for some 80 vegetables. The recipe has been translated and adapted for the Dutch Food site, and is republished here with the permission of the publisher.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 heads of witlof (Belgian endive/chicory), plus extra for garnish
  • 2 floury potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock (300 ml)
  • 2 small bottles witbier (white beer), (about 2 1/2 cups or 600 ml)
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4/5 cup heavy cream (200 ml)
  • 1 cup bacon lardons (150 g)
  • 4 tbsp chopped chives
  • You will also need:
  • A stick blender

Preparation:

Cut the ends off the witlof and slice into 1" (2 cm) pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2" (1 cm) cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over a medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the witlof and cook for 1 minute. Now add the chicken stock, white beer, potatoes and star anise. Allow to simmer until the potatoes are soft.

Take off the heat and add the cream. Remove the star anise pod. Purée the soup with a stick blender and then pass it through a sieve.

Meanwhile fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan until crispy. Serve the soup warm with the bacon, raw witlof and chopped chives.

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