Day 276: Vegetable Waterzooi

It’s around this time of year that The Man and I like to visit Belgium. The tree lined city of Bruges, with its canal and numerous bridges is so pretty in the autumn.

It was also in Bruges that I first came across Waterzooi, one of The Man’s favourite dishes. Traditionally a peasant dish and Flemish in origin, waterzooi is a chicken or fish dish derived from the neighbouring Belgian town of Ghent.

I’ve never tried it, being a meat dish but I thought I’d attempt to recreate a vegetarian version of it for the family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 x leeks, finely chopped into matchstick strips
  • 6 x potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 x carrots, peeled and finely chopped into matchstick strips
  • 2 x litres veg stock
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 250ml double or whipping cream
  • 3 x egg yolks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 400g block of firm tofu (wrapped in kitchen paper and pressed for several hours between a couple of plates with heavy books on top)

Fry the onion and shallots in butter and olive oil until translucent and soft. Add the potatoes, followed by the carrots and leeks.

Pour in the stock and herbs and bubble gently for 20 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the cubed tofu.

Beat the cream and egg yolks together then add a ladleful of the stock. Keep adding stock to acclimatise the cream so it won’t all curdle when added to the main pot. When the cream has sufficiently warmed but not separated pour it back into the pan a ladleful at a time.

Cook for a further 10 minutes then serve with French bread.

The Man added chicken to his, Jude loved the sauce (I’ve since blended the leftovers to provide him with a good stock of soup) but I was surprised at the kids lukewarm response to this one, despite all devouring the tofu!

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