This recipe was taken from GOURMET'S ADVENTURES WITH RUTH: SEASON ONE: COCINAR MEXICANO. I watched this episode and was intrigued by the recipe being made outside for Ruth Reichel. I had to make it. It seemed so simple and yet the complex use of simple ingredients was something that I have never done before. The pureed almonds thicken the soups nicely. I had never done that before. It added a roasted nut flavor to the cilantro puree. Serve to cilantro lovers!
SERVES: 8 (MAKES 2 QUARTS)
- 1 1/2 lb cilantro (5 large bunches)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz blanched almonds (1 ½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1/2 cup chopped leek
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cut bottom 2 inches of stems from cilantro bunches, then rinse well in several changes of cold water and drain. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add cilantro, pushing it under water. Cook 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain, pressing water from cilantro, then chop.
Puree cilantro with 3 cups chicken broth, in batches if necessary, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Pour through a medium mesh sieve set over a large bowl, pressing hard on solids. (If you have a lot of solids left, return to blender with the remaining cup of chicken broth and blend again. Strain into bowl.)
Heat olive oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat, then add almonds and cook, stirring, until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve.
Heat butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat, then add onion, leek, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine in a slow stream, stirring, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk in a slow stream, then add salt and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat. Put milk mixture and fried almonds in blender, in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth, at least 3 minutes per batch.
Return milk mixture to pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring (be careful the bottom doesn't burn). Stir in cilantro liquid and return to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste.
SOUP KEEPS, CHILLED, 3 DAYS AND CAN BE FROZEN 1 MONTH.