When making vegetable broth, cut the vegetables uniformly so they look attractive, or cut them into julienne. The time-consuming part of this dish —the julienned vegetables and the broth—can be done ahead of time. If you don’t want to bother with the julienne, just slice the vegetables.
– 1 large carrot.
– 1 turnip.
– 3 leeks.
– Stalks from 1 fennel bulb (optional).
– Bouquet garni.
– ½ cup dry white wine.
– 3 quarts cold water or more as needed to cover.
– 20 fresh tarragon leaves, chopped at the last minute (optional).
Step 1:Cut the carrot and turnip into fine julienne. Cut the greens off the leeks, rinse them, and use kitchen string to tie them together with the fennel stalks. Cut the whites of the leeks in half lengthwise, rinse out any grit, and cut into julienne.
Step 2:Peel apart the fennel blub and julienne each section. Simmer the vegetables and bouquet garni in the wine and water to cover for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Whisk in the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper. The broth keeps for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Step 3:Broths and pureed soups are strained to eliminate lumps and to prevent cloudiness in broth. When straining broth, use the finest strainer you have, preferably a classic “chinois,” a coned-shaped strainer with a very fine mesh. When straining pureed soups, strain according to the consistency you like. If you like your soup thick, strain it through a regular household kitchen strainer; if you want it thin, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer or even a chinois. When straining broth, don’t work it through the strainer with an implement such as a spoon or you’ll cloud the broth. To help the broth through the strainer, tap on the edge of the strainer with a wooden spoon while straining. When straining purees or other opaque liquids, work the liquid through the strainer by moving a small ladle up and down in the strainer