Gene Hackman is a fine actor, of that there is no doubt. I loved him in Mississippi Burning and few could forget his performances in The Conversation or as Popeye Doyle in The French Connection.
Personally, my two favourite characters as portrayed by him are Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde and the old blind man who befriends the monster in Young Frankenstein. It is from the latter that I take the inspiration for the meal I would serve him.
Young Frankenstein is a classic Mel Brooks comedy. Gene Wilder is a fantastic Frankenstein and Marty Feldman and Madeleine Kahn more than match him in their supporting roles. Brooks takes the traditional Frankenstein story, adds a healthy dollop of homage to the black and white film versions he loves and creates a fine movie in its own right.
In the scene I am thinking of, the Monster (Peter Boyle) is seeking companionship. The old man’s blindness means that he is not repulsed by the Monster’s physical deformity. Knowing that his guest is cold and hungry he offers to share his soup but his visual impairment means that he pours it, not into a the bowl, but into the Monster’s lap, one of cinema’s great comedic moments.
Gene, here, hopefully, is a soup you will want to eat yourself…
LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
3 medium potatoes
1 large leek
750ml veg stock
3tbsp double cream
salt and black pepper
Slice leeks into thin rounds. Place in large sauce pan with butter and sweat for about five minutes, stirring gently.
Add stock. Bring to the boil and simmer or about 30 minutes until potatoes and leeks are soft.
Allow to cool slightly and then pour into a blender.
Blend well and return to the pan.
Reheat. Add cream and stir well to mix. Season to taste.
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