Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Because It Can't Always Be Pasta

Recipes like this are the reason that I wanted to create a blog. They're also something I hope to have more of one day. I love the idea of family recipes. Something you probably made the first time with the person who used to make it for you. The recipe that looks well-loved. Stains on the important words and all (not that it matters because you practically have it memorized). This recipe for leek and potato soup fits all the criteria.

Mom used to make this and then I helped once. From then on it has become a staple in the household. I'm not always the best about eating leftovers, but if this is in the fridge you can bet I'll have it gone in a couple days. I love the flavors of the soup. I tend to cook it possibly more than what I should, but I love the stewi-ness of it and the way the leeks and spices come together with the potatoes.

And let's face it, not everything I post on this page can't be pasta-related!

Leek and Potato Soup
5 or 6 leeks
3 tbsp. butter
3 c. diced potatoes
1 qt. chicken broth
2 tsp. salt (to taste) (or vegetable for a vegetarian version)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the broth.

Wash and cut the leeks. To do this I usually cut off the end and then peel off the outermost green layer. Then I cut them in half lengthwise. Then I thinly slice them, starting at the white end. I place all the slices in a colander, and once all the leeks have been cut I spend some time rinsing off the grit. Leeks are really not scary to work with, and so delicious they're worth the extra rinsing!
Saute the leeks in the 3 tbsp. of butter until soft, usually about 5 minutes. Add in the potatoes and broth. Bring this mixture to a boil and let it go for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer (covered) until the potatoes are tender. This could take about 25 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes you diced. Once tender, season the potatoes with the cayenne and nutmeg.

Create a roux for the soup. Melt the two tbsp. of butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour. When this is well mixed, add the reserved 1 1/2 cups of broth. Stir this until it becomes thickened and bubbly. I used to have trouble making a roux until I learned not to be scared of the heat. You don't want it too hot, as it can burn, but without the heat it will NEVER thicken.

Add the roux to the soup and heat through until the whole thing is hot and bubbly. Serve it with an extra pinch of nutmeg or cayenne (for the brave). Enjoy!

1 comment: