Soupe Flamande with Creme Fraiche and Frizzled Brussels Sprouts

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Today’s Soupe Flamande with Creme Fraiche and Frizzled Brussels Sprouts from from Delia Smith—Britain’s top selling cookbook author and television show host. 

In Britain, the phrase The Delia Effect refers to the surge in profits of a product once given the seal of approval by Ms. Smith, kind of like our Colbert Bump.  One good word from her can send sales soaring.  Some say this wildly popular cooking icon is the British equivalent of Martha Stewart, and given her level of celebrity I’m a little surprised I hadn’t heard of her until now.

 If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
Restaurants that are run by real cooks serving real food, and not what Elizabeth David called “theatre on a plate”.       ~~~from the Guardian, 11/2011

Delia Smith has been teaching the British to cook on television since the 1970s, and publishing cookbooks almost as long. While she doesn’t have the charisma of a Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, Smith does have staying power and a deep rooted following in Britain.  Her niche is the world of everyday cooking and she taps into the huge market of everyday cooks. Critics claim she’s bland and simplistic; one of her shows taught the viewers how to boil an egg.  But it’s hard to argue with such broad based popularity. You can explore her recipes and decide for yourself at her site Delia Online.

I chose this Flemish soup for a couple of reasons.  While it’s definitely a winter soup, made with winter vegetables like potatoes, leeks and Brussels sprouts, it’s delicate green color is like a breath of spring.  These days I’m looking for these kinds of foods that suggest the seasonal transition.

The other reason I had to try this soup was the frizzled Brussels sprouts.  I’ve been hearing rumblings about them here and there on the Internet, and let me tell you these little unassuming bits of shredded and fried sprouts are epic. Whatever you do, don’t skip them, they make this soup.

As we were eating our soup last night my husband turned to me and said, make sure you advise your readers to maximize the frizzles.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Consider yourselves advised.

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5 from 1 vote

Soupe Flamande with Creme Fraiche and Frizzled Brussels Sprouts


  • 12 oz 350 g potatoes
  • 2 large leeks
  • 12 oz 350 g Brussels sprouts
  • 2 oz 50 g butter
  • 15 fl oz 425 ml hot stock made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder (I used chicken stock)
  • 1 pint 570 ml milk
  • 2 rounded tablespoons crème fraîche
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • To garnish:
  • 4 level tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 8 large sprouts trimmed and shredded
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • Start by peeling and thickly slicing the potatoes. When the leeks are trimmed and washed, cut them all the way through, vertically; then chop them into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces. Then trim the base of the sprouts, discard any damaged outer leaves and quarter the larger sprouts and halve any smaller ones.
  • Next, melt the butter in a good large saucepan, add the potatoes, leeks and sprouts, and stir well to coat them nicely in the butter. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, turn the heat to low, put a lid on and allow the vegetables to sweat gently for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the stock and milk bring everything up to simmering point and cook very gently for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Because of the milk, it is best to put the lid only three quarters on, to prevent everything boiling over, and to keep the heat really low.
  • After that, liquidise the soup and then return it to the pan; add the 2 rounded tablespoons of creme fraiche, then reheat the soup gently, taste and add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and more seasoning if it needs it.
  • Make the garnish while the soup is reheating. To do this, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a high heat, and when the oil is really hot and shimmering, add the shredded sprouts and fry them, stirring occasionally so they don't catch on the base of the pan. When they are crisp and golden brown, which should take 2-3 minutes, lift them, using a draining spoon, on to crumpled kitchen paper to drain. If you want to make the garnish in advance, you can re-frizzle the sprouts in a hot frying pan just before serving.
  • Serve the soup in hot bowls with a little crème fraîche spooned on top of each one and garnished with the frizzled sprouts.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    frizzled. that word alone makes this dish appealing. anything frizzled is a-okay with me, unless we’re talking about my hair. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Wow. Just wow. I love all the soup I am seeing lately and this is top notch. You made brussel sprouts sound tasty!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    February 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Love the frizzles – love brussels, this is a soup for me and…… Delia is a legend!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 7:44 am

    what a lovely idea for a soup it looks perfect and with a beautiful presentation!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Wow! This soup looks really good. Cheers to the women game changers like Delia Smith.


  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I also recommend bringing in a touch of Spring for our winter blahs. This lovely shade of green is perfect for doing just that.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

    That really looks delicious, Sue. Unusual to see brussel sprouts (which I love) in a soup. Nice write up too!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

    What beautiful pictures, Sue! And that is a pretty green color, perfect for heralding the onset of spring.Though we had a very mild winter, it’s still a bit chilly and I think this soup is perfect for this weather! Now those frizzled brussels sprouts have me all interested!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Frizzled sprouts…mmmmm…looks delicious! Your photos are amazing as always.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Oh my – I think I could just eat the frizzles – what a tantalizing soup. Love the whiteness, the goodness and those delectable brussel sprouts.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Dear Sue, This looks very satisfying for these chilly days. Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    February 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    This is the second recipe i have seen lately using creme fraiche in soup. I love this idea and how silky it must make the soup. My stomach is growling!

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    February 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    What an interesting recipe. I love brussels sprouts so I really must try it. I also love the look of your topping. Yum!

  • Reply
    Norma Chang
    February 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    This is a seriously delicious and healthy soup. Great idea with the frizzles.

  • Reply
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits
    February 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Your soup looks so tasty and brussel sprouts are soooo good for you. I’m going to bookmark this one. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    February 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Another lovely dish! I just love to look at your creations. You are a gifted artist! Sounds yummy too.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    What a delicious looking soup! I am getting so hungry…it must be lunch time. I’m all for the frizzles…looks great!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    This soup looks amazing (and I don’t even like Brussels sprouts)!
    And yes, frizzles should always be maximized. 😀

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    February 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Wow! This IS a gorgeous soup! I’m so glad that Mary started this blogshare. I have gotten so many good recipes from all my fellow blogging cohorts!

    As for the frizzles, got it!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Maximize the frizzles! I love it. I’ve never heard of them before. I just pinned this to try soon. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    You snared me with this recipe. I can’t wait to give this a try. I find the frizzled sprouts intriguing and there is only one way to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for this one. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve never had brussels sprouts in soup, but I love the idea of frizzled brussels sprouts on top!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Maximize the frizzles. CHECK! ha ha ha. This does sound like an amazing bowl of soup. AND, I’m happy that you reminded me of doing brussels sprouts this way – I’ve been meaning/wanting to try it since I hear great things, I just haven’t yet. Soon!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Lovely veggie meal..and what beautiful photographs. Thanks for cooking this.
    Happy Friday from St. Paul!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Yum! Brussels sprouts in a soup sounds like a great idea.