Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soup for a Cold Winter's Night - Potato Leek Soup

I have to admit...I love soup. I love soup for dinner as it is hearty and can be low calorie and healthy. When I go to the grocery store I am always looking at vegetables wondering, can I make a soup with those? I buy vegetables I have no idea what to do with but when they are organic and on special I have a hard time resisting. Enter the bouquet of leeks I bought the other day. I have never had leek soup but thought it sounded good. I had seen a Knorr package for leek soup so I knew that I could throw something with it.
Now mind you I picked up ingredients before I looked at a recipe to get the basics. I did take a peek at the Knorrs package yesterday when I was running in to get a few items and saw that you could add potatoes. So that is where I started. I came home and googled leek potato soup and came up with 2 from the Food Network, Alton Brown (whom I really like) and Emeril (who I can tolerate). I chose the Emeril recipe for my basics as I had nearly every ingredient in the list (Yeah for me!!!)
I knew my kids wouldn't eat it so they got a piece of ham from the slice that I used and some veggies and a quesadilla. Now don't get me wrong. I am all about the family eating the same meal but I will not force the kids to eat something that I know they will not enjoy. You gotta give Lucy credit though as she is a soup lover and eats from the soup bar at school every day but this was "not to her liking." (Kind of like the day I went to school and ate lunch with her and she got the she-crab soup, I was shocked, and tasted it and told me "it's too crabby!" give the girl credit for trying). Just so you know I do not normally make 2 meals but this was one that I was sure they would not eat. Oh and just so you know it is not a pretty soup. It is actually very blah looking and looks something like liquidy paste but it tastes way better.

photo from here it is not my photo and here is credit for where I got it (I did not have all that stuff on top but the soup looks the same)

Potato Leek Soup (adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

3 Leeks
dash thyme
olive oil
ham, sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream - I used fat free half and half!
2 tablespoons snipped chives - for top I forgot these and had them in my herb garden

Cut the white part of the leeks in half, length wise and rinse well under cold running water to get out any sand and dirt. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, put a little olive oil and the ham (you can do bacon here as Emeril does in his recipe but I used ham) and add the ham. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ham is warm. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes (I added a bit more olive oil as the ham did not have fat in it and needed a little help). Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender (my blender is still broken and this made my food processor hard to open - FYI). Stir in the cream (or fat free half and half - I promise the benefits without the fat and guilt!) and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately.

I actually had the soup made about a half hour before we were to eat and let it sit and them put it back on low right before we were going to eat and added the cream. (Don't add the cream until you are ready to eat it). We had a nice slice of hearty bread with this and that was dinner.

Now if my camera battery wasn't dead and I had not left my charger at the house on Kiawah last week life would be divine and you would be looking at a picture of my divine soup that I made last night. But instead you have to look at a stock photo and hope that my charger gets here today or tomorrow!

With a warm bowl of soup on a cold night and your family gathered around the dinner table talking about their day Life is indeed Good! Enjoy


Anonymous said...

This is Linda's husband, Dan. I had two bowls of her soup last night and just finished another here at my desk at work. It is unbelievable. I also took two of her ribs (I'm a big leftover kinda guy)from the other night of which I promptly dropped one of my newly dry cleaned suit. Kudos to Momma! The soup was awesome!

Anne said...

Yum! I love soups and will be sure to try this one soon.

Anne said...

Hey, Dan! Didn't realize that was you posting up there before I hit the "post" button. I would expect you to like leftovers - you're a good southern guy. And as for the suit - Bryan would probably have done that too.

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