Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ways to Use Taters

** NOTE: I adjusted the recipe I posted below. I think 3/4 or 1 tsp of salt is sufficient, since the butter and chicken stock I use is salted and 1 1/2 tsp seemed way too salty. I recommend starting off with 3/4 tsp of salt then gradually add more salt to taste.

I'm still cooking from the car load of goodies that we brought back from the family farm. Among one of the delicious produce the in-laws gave us were leeks. I've never cooked leeks before so I was excited with experimenting with it. My mother-in-law told me the one of her favorite things to make using leeks is a potato and leek soup. Oooh, I have to try it!
They also generously gave us at least 75 pounds of potatoes. Here is just one shelf of potatoes drying out. Not shown in the picture is half of a burlap bag of potatoes that I need to find room to lay out to dry a bit for storing.  We got a mixture of red and russet potatoes.
I looked at several different potato and leek recipes and decided on a combination of Emeril and Robert Irvine's recipe from the Food Network. In a dutch oven pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Then add 3 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces and rendered out the fat.  Then I took 6 leeks, using only the white parts, cut into small pieces and added it to the pot.  For more onion taste, I minced a medium onion and added it.  Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. 
Once the onions are cooked, mix in 2 tablespoons of flour, this makes a nice roux.  Next, I added in 5 cups of chicken broth, 6 medium sized potatoes diced, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1 bay leaf. Cook until the potatoes are done. When the potatoes are fully cooked, fish out the bay leaf.  Then the fun part, I used my immersion blender to puree the soup. You can also scoop the soup into a blender to blend. I rather use my immersion blender because it's less clean up.   If you don't have an immersion blender, I highly recommend spending $30 to get it. I use it for blending everything and worth every penny!
After you've puree'd everything, add in 1 cup of heavy cream and puree together.  The soup should be smooth now, if it's too thick, add more chicken stock until it becomes the right consistency of soup. 
I added snipped chives from the garden before eating.  This was my first time making this soup and "oh my goodness" this is my new favorite!  My first spoonful was just heavenly!  It's far from "healthy", I mean, bacon + butter + heavy cream, (oh my) but a nice treat for this fall cool crisp weather.
Check out more garden to table challenges at Greenish Thumb.

13 comments:

  1. Drooling again today!

    Thanks for sharing that!

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  2. Vichyssoise was invented in NYC!

    http://members.cox.net/jjschnebel/vichysoi.html

    But with a small tweek:

    We have a tradition of potato and leek soup here in Scotland. Have the courage NOT to add that onion. Melt the butter and sweat the leeks. Soften the tatties and then add the liquid. Cook until ready to liquidise adding plenty of cream (heavy or light) and pepper (black - even though it detracts a bit from the colour). Throw in the minced parsley - et voila - Scottish Leek and Potato Soup!!!

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  3. I love making potato leek soup when the weather gets cool, sooooo delicious :)

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  4. Yes, that does look yummy. I need to cook with milk these days. Sometimes I use evaporated milk in recipes like that.

    Those leeks and potatoes sure are pretty! We dug the last of our potatoes from my garden at the neighbors' yard this weekend, and gave them their share. We didn't have that large of a harvest, but are enjoying what we have.

    Do you wash the dirt off of your potatoes right away? I keep forgetting to look that up. The ones I get from the farmers' market have been cleaned in some way.

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  5. We have got to try this recipe of yours as it looks so good. I like that green pot.:)

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  6. That looks amazing. I would love to have some potato leek soup right now.

    Another thing you could do with those potatoes and leeks - sour cream and leek mashed potatoes. Saute chopped leeks in butter until tender. Mix in to your mashed potatoes. Stir in some sour cream. Yuuuuummm. I think this was a williams-sonoma recipe.

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  7. Well you can't get any farm fresher than all that great produce from the in-laws!

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  8. Nice for a cold day. I want to try growing leeks, maybe next year.

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  9. Mmmmmm! Looks like you will be eating well all winter.

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  10. Your pictures just added to my hunger! This is a favorite type of soup in my kitchen.

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  11. A few weeks back I grabbed some leeks from the supermarket remembering a show stating that they are sweet and mild, almost like onions. So for a side I sautéed garlic, oregano with leeks and mushrooms. served that as a side with my roast. mmm yummy, and I don't like onions straight.

    Your soup looks so yummy I am reminded that I didn't have much to eat for dinner.

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