Creamy Heart of Palm Soup

Creamy Heart of Palm Soup

Indigenous to South America, heart of palm is a delicious white vegetable that is harvested from the inner core of some palm trees. With a taste similar to artichoke, fresh edible hearts of palm can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted and are simply delicious just barbecued with a little bit of butter and sea salt. Even though it is very common these days to find fresh hearts of palm in Brazilian supermarkets, the preserved ones have been eaten for many years and, as a consequence, they still reign supreme in home-made recipes. I remember eating the heart of palm soup at the Tea Houses that were trendy in the south of Brazil in the 90s. These houses were really enjoyed by everybody specially in winter because they offered a wide range of comfortable food, such as cakes, sweets, soups, pies, juices, tea and coffee. The good thing is that they offered the all-you-can-eat service: pay a fixed price and eat as much as you like! The white asparagus and the heart of palm soups were the two most adored on the menu. This heart of palm soup is very creamy and delicate and its a perfect winter warmer dish to have in a cold night with some fresh bread and a glass of white wine. In Australia, hearts of palm are sold in their preserved form and can be found in gourmet shops or online. Here in Hobart it I found them at the Foodstore grocer.  Ingredients  4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil 1 leek (white part only), sliced 3 bay leaves 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 800 g preserved hearts of...