When autumn and winter come around, I become even more nostalgic (is that even possible?) of certain smells and foods of my childhood. I remember clearly walking around my grandparents’ garden puling fresh leeks right off the ground. We would take bunches and bunches home every Sunday. My dad’s car smelled of leeks all winter long.
If there is one traditional soup in the Basque Country, it must be porrusalda or leek soup. It is peasant food and the soup all of us grew up eating. Believe it or not, I seem to have been a picky eater as a child. I do not remember much about it, but I often times hear it from my mom. “You despised vegetables”, she tells me. Funny how life is. So my mom made sure to puree all soups for me to get me to eat as many vegetables as possible.
I have to admit that texture has stuck with me as I do love creamy and slightly chunky soups. When cooler weather comes around, I eat soup almost every single day.
I made this variation of porrusalda this week when the skies were dark and stormy. We were under a tropical storm warning for two days so we stayed in for the most part. A simple soup with leeks, garlic, potatoes and butternut squash. Slightly sweet so I decided to make some cheesy muffins to go with it.
I keep dreaming of my uncle’s apple orchard where we spent so much time this late summer. Apple goodness everywhere. Eating them raw and preparing them in a million different ways.
I thought it would be great to have a savory kind of cake to go with the soup and I love the combination of apples, gruyere and sage. The muffins are moist, sweet and salty at the same time. Serve the soup with a little sour cream, black pepper and olive oil. Perfect comfort food.
Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins
makes 6 muffins plus a loaf
1 cup (150 grams) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (75 grams)millet flour
2 Tbs (30 grams) potato starch
2 Tbs (20 grams) tapioca starch
1/3 cup (70 grams) cane sugar
1 tsp (8 grams) baking powder
1/2 tsp (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 tsp (5 grams) salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbs fresh sage, finely chopped
1 cup (55 grams) shredded Gruyere
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (55 ml) olive oil
2 apples, peeled and small diced
Extra shredded Gruyere for topping
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the diced apples.
Scoop batter into molds. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes for the muffins and 40 minutes for the loaf.
Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup
2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup (1/2 leek), diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
3 cups chicken stock (or water)
Sour cream, optional
In a medium pot, saute the leeks in the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Do not let them brown. Add the squash and potatoes and saute them for another minute. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook them covered for about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup and taste it. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with cracked black pepper and sour cream.