Sunday, March 25, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

After buying an excessive amount of leeks for a latke recipe, I had to find something to do with all of the leftovers. I've been meaning to try out a recipe for potato leek soup, so now seemed as good a time as ever. It's a pretty hearty soup because so much of it is made out of potatoes, but in small amounts it's good. A very wintery dish.
Use only up to the light green part of the leek

Potato Leek Soup
1 leek (discard the thick green part) = about 2 cups sliced
3 cups diced white potato
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
pinch of rosemary and/or thyme
1 TB olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup skim milk

1. Saute the thinly sliced leek in a large saucepan over medium to high, with the olive oil. Leeks have a light onion-y smell and flavor to them. They're much tougher though, so it's best to saute them for a while before adding the potatoes (until they're wilted and the lighter pieces are translucent). Towards the end you should also add the lemon juice and garlic so that it gets cooked up a bit before adding in the liquid.
2. Once the leeks have been cooking for at least 10 minutes (feel free to turn the heat down if your pan is starting to brown/burn), you can add the diced potato and then 1 cup of the chicken stock. Stir everything together, add a dash of salt and pepper and some of the herbs you've chosen to use. Best to add the herbs before pureeing so that everything gets incorporated well together.
3. Once mixed together, cover the pan, turn down to simmer and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Check in on the potatoes every 5 mins and stir up, adding more chicken stock as it needs it. The potatoes should be close to covered so that each and every piece of potato is being cooked evenly.

4. Once the potatoes are fork tender and all of the chicken stock has been added, it means the soup is ready for the blender. Using a ladel, spoon the soup into the blender. Make sure not to put the cover on completely or else the hot soup will build up and cause a serious mess. You should be able to blend all together, but if you need to do batches that's fine too. Once everything is pureed add the soup back to the saucepan and add in the milk, as much as you'd like depending on how thick you want your soup. At this point the soup should have cooled off a bit and you can taste a spoonful to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

Hints: If you're going to put away in small batches for the week or in the freezer, let the soup cool first because adding hot ingredients to plastic isn't a good idea.

"fork-tender" = when you take a fork to the potatoes, it should be able to pierce them with little to no resistance

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