Thursday, November 1, 2012

Eat: Potato & Leek Soup Recipe

As you can tell, I've been on something of a soup kick as of late. Of course, it has a lot to do with the changing of seasons but as of this week, it's as much to do with adjustments to my braces (i.e. I'm on a soft food diet while dealing with pain).

While shopping for groceries earlier this week, we happened upon some nice looking leeks. I have never prepared leeks before so I figured I was long overdue trying them for myself. I decided on making Potato & Leek soup, as recipes are plentiful.

The recipe I selected is from Epicurious, and can be found here. I found the soup to be almost too healthy, it lacked a certain complexity that a bit of fat could bring to a recipe. I don't want to say it was bland because I realize that a more smooth muted flavour is what one should expect from a Potato and Leek soup, but still, I think it fell short. The fresh herbs really helped it out, but as usual I made a pile of modifications that I feel compelled to share:

  • I used 2 large leeks, as that was all I had. I compensated with an extra potato.
  • I used 10% cream because that was what was in my fridge.
  • I didn't have basil, but I did have fresh rosemary, thyme and tarragon. I used all of them, about a handful of each, chopped.
  • I used a whole bag of chives, which might have been more like 1/2 cup. It really needed it.
  • Make sure you use the fresh dill, it really adds a flavour that the soup can't do without. You will likely want to use more than the recipe calls for.
  • I pureed all of the soup rather than just some of it because I prefer cream/pureed soups
  • It needs a good amount of salt and pepper.
  • I had a bit of bacon fat in a mason jar so I added a bit less than a tablespoon. Next time I would cook up a bit of bacon, use the fat and add back the cooked bacon as garnish.
  • Finally, instead of Tabasco I used a good few shakes of ancho chili powder.
Not the most convincing sales pitch, hun? Having said that, I'm not giving up on Potato & Leek soup yet but I will likely use a different base recipe. Even the pictures came out a little off (i.e. yellow), which I tried unsuccessfully to balance out. For arguments sake, the the soup turned out to be a pretty shade of off-white with lovely green specks of herb throughout. We served it with a provolone and wheat sourdough grilled cheese. I'd recommend to use a cheese with a light flavour otherwise it will drown out the gentle flavour of the soup.

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