Monday, October 3, 2011

Leek Potato Soup

Here's a good way to use up some of those less than perfect potatoes from the home garden.  You know the ones I mean...poked by the potato hook, or tasted by the vole...
If you look closely, you may be able to see the holes in the potatoes.  I will cut away any bad parts and put them in the compost.  Also shown are my newly harvested leeks and some chives for garnish.  Leeks are great for cooking in a chunky soup like this because they break down so completely in the cooking process: giving the soup a full, creamy texture without the addition of cream (extra calories,) or the need to puree in an appliance (extra dishes to wash.)

Once you have gathered all your ingredients, set a kettle of water on to boil.  About two quarts will do.

Now chop your leeks into medallions about 1/8 inch thick.  Saute them right in the soup pot, to keep your dishes down to a minimum.  Saute in oil or butter, or a little of each.  Add salt, pepper, and dried basil or oregano.  I added some chopped chives and parsley as well. When leeks turn golden and translucent, carefully add about two inches of boiling water.  Then cut your potato into bite sized chunks and add to the boiling stock.  Add some chopped carrots if you have them. Keep chopping potatoes and adding them to the soup, adding more water as needed to keep everything covered. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
You'll notice that I've not given you specific amounts.  I've given you my basic process for making soup:
  • bring 2 qts. water to a boil in a tea kettle while you chop vegetables
  • in a stock pot saute the "aromatics:" onion or leeks, garlic, peppers, carrots, celery
  • add boiling water or reserved vegetable cooking water from an earlier meal
  • chop and add remaining vegetables from those needing most cooking time to those needing least
  • simmer until all vegetables are desired tenderness.
  • turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon miso dissolved in 1 cup cold water and stir in well
  • garnish with fresh herbs and serve

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