Easter is just around the corner and all the small children in Denmark are busy writing letters to their parents and grandparents. It’s not just an ordinary letter that they are writing. In Danish these letters are called “Gækkebrev” and are translated to a letter with a snowdrop in it. Using a scissor and piece of paper, the children cut a decorative pattern and write a little poem on it. It goes something like this. “My name is written with dots, be careful not to stick yourself.” This little poem naturally rimes in Danish, but is the best translation I can find. The children then place the amount of dots that are in their names on the letter and send them to their grandparents and parents. If the person who receives the letter can’t guess who sent the letter, they are supposed to give the children a candy Easter egg. Of course, the grandparents and parents can guess who sent them, but they always act like they don’t know who sent them. These “gækkebrev” are a Danish invention and date back to the 1600 when people send letters to each asking them to solve a puzzle. The children love it.
Unfortunately, it is cold in Denmark and we need a warm soup once in a while to keep us warm. This soup is good both hot or cold. Right now, I prefer a warm soup.
Warm Potato and Leek Soup with Danish Caviar Serves 4
1 tbsp. butter
1 leek (white part only), rinsed and drained well, sliced thinly
1 lb. large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
3 oz. Danish Caviar (lumpfish roe or salmon roe)
To make the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the leek and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender
but not browned. Add potatoes and sauté 2 to 3 minutes longer, until tender but not browned. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Skim
off any foam that develops, then lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and
return to a boil. Transfer the soup to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with a large dollop of caviar.