Monday, July 29, 2013

Cooking With My Favorites - Chilled Watercress Soup and the Double Boiler

It's time, once again, to grab one of my favorite Corningware pieces and make something yummy.  This time, I will be using my Double Boiler.  Yep, Corningware produced a Double Boiler somewhere around late 1962.  I am not sure how long it was available, but I can say for sure that it was discontinued when Corningware redesigned the cookware, for there is no Double Boiler for the "A" series, only the "P" models.  I wonder if the two pieces were originally sold together, or if you simply purchased the insert to fit into the 2 1/2 quart casserole that you already had?  Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, as stated, the bottom of the double boiler is the P-2 1/2-B.  The insert is labeled as P-17-B and holds 2 quarts, though it seems to hold only 1 3/4 quarts.  I'm just sayin'.   The P-9-C lid will fit on both pieces.
The insert has a much wider rim than a normal casserole/saucepan (bottom photo) does.

The best part about the double boiler assembly, is that the insert, being made of pyroceram, also functions as a regular saucepan and can be placed directly on the stove.  This factoid, along with Corningware's ability to laugh at temperature extremes, is going to come in handy as I make the soup.... and it is the reason I love cooking with this particular piece.  For not only do these two pieces act as a Double Boiler, they can also act as an Ice Water Jacket...

You'll see what I mean.

Chilled Watercress Soup

1 TB Butter
4 oz (114g) Leek, sliced (about 2)
1 clove Garlic, minced
9 oz (255g) starchy Potato, peeled and diced
3 cups (475ml) Chicken Stock
2 lbs (950g) Watercress, washed and trimmed (about 4 bunches) this will be 12 oz (340g) when cleaned up
3/4 cup (177ml) Heavy Cream
Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Creme Fraiche & Chives for serving

2 1/2 quart Casserole/Saucepan (P-2 1/2-B)
2 quart Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B)
Pyrex Lid (P-9-C)
optional Handle (P-10-HG)

Place the 2 1/2 quart (P-2 1/2-B) Casserole over low flame and melt the butter.

Add the Leek and cover, continue cooking over low flame until the Leek is soft.

Add the Potato and the Chicken Stock.

Cover again and increase the flame to medium... Bringing to a boil, then reduce the flame to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the Potatoes are tender.


Give the Watercress a  rough chop while waiting for the Potatoes to cook through.

When the Potatoes are tender, add the Watercress, then recover and cook for an additional minute.

Remove the soup from the flame and let cool for 5 minutes before continuing.

This is where the Double Boiler Insert comes into play.

Puree the soup with your blender or food processor in 2 batches.

Remember to remove the handle on the lid and cover with a towel.

As each batch is pureed, move it to the 2 quart Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B)

When all the soup has been pureed, place the 2 quart Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B) over medium flame and bring the soup back to a simmer.

While the soup is reheating, wash the 2 1/2 quart Casserole (P-2 1/2-B) and fill the bottom with ice, adding just enough water to cover, then set aside.

When the soup comes to a simmer, add the Heavy Cream and stir to combine...

Remove the soup from the flame and season with freshly grated Nutmeg, Salt and Pepper.

Place the 2 quart Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B) into the 2 1/2 quart Casserole (P-2 1/2-B)...  Voila!  Ice Jacket.

Place the whole thing in the refrigerator to quickly chill the soup. (Awesome, huh?) It will still take about 1 1/2 hours for the soup to chill down.

You can even refill with ice and water, to serve, so the soup stays cold at the table too.

Garnish soup with Creme Fraiche and Chives.


Where is your Corningware??
~~

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