Sunday, April 4, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Mmmm... Soup.
We went to the opening of the Eugene Farmer's Market yesterday and found some very tasty looking leeks and potatoes. (our own garden potatoes are long gone, though new ones are now coming up in the garden) The spring has also taken a nasty rainy turn, so my thoughts turned to soup.

I could make up a potato leek soup recipe, but I went in search of a recipe anyway. I found one, conveniently, in the latest (March-April 2010) Cook's Illustrated in an article called "Rethinking Creamy Leek-Potato Soup". While I find much of Cook's Illustrated (and the TV version, America's Test Kitchen) really interesting and helpful, some of it just seems overthought. I read this article with a grain of salt, and took some of its advice while also doing my own thing (i.e. ignoring some of their advice).

The soup I made was fantastic. We ate it with some fresh, local ciabatta bread, lightly broiled with olive oil and vinegar, and with a King Estate Pinot Gris (the 2007 Domaine, which we got a half case of last weekend. It's fantastic.). A lovely, light and warm dinner.

2 - 4 good sized leeks - whites and light green parts cut in half and then sliced. Dark greens chopped into big pieces.
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 Tblsp butter
1 medium onion - chopped
4 small-medium potatoes (I used german butterballs from the farmer's market, the recipe called for a smaller amount of russets) - chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
salt and pepper
a bit of 1/2 and 1/2

Cut up the dark green tops of the leeks into 2-inch pieces and add to the broth and water in a big pot. Heat up and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain out the broth into a bowl, set aside. Discard the greens.

Melt butter in the same pot. Stir in whites/light greens of leeks and onion, plus a teaspoon of salt. Cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until veggies are soft.

Turn up the heat, pour in the saved broth, and the potato, bay leaf and thyme. Turn down when it boils and simmer on low-ish heat for 10 minute until taters are tender.

Take out the bay leaf and thyme. Add half the soup to a blender and blend briefly (really - not too long). Pour into a bowl. Do the other half of the soup. Pour back into the pot with the first batch.

Heat back up, and add salt and pepper to taste. Also add in a tablespoon or so of 1/2 and 1/2.

I can't wait to have the leftovers soon...

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