Monday, August 29, 2011

Soupe Poireaux Pommes de Terre

Since Hurricane Irene decided to wreck the East Coast, we stayed in all day Saturday to hide from the rain and strong winds. Luckily, we were spared the severe wreckage that some other states received. An earthquake and hurricane in one week is just too much weather drama for my temperate-inclined nature.

While hiding out at home in the dreary weather, I remembered that we had some leeks and potatoes sitting around waiting to be next week's trash. Jacque Pepin made this recipe on his "Fast Food My Way" show on PBS, which is where the inspiration came from. The specific recipe came from here.

Soupe Poireaux Pommes de Terre
Potato and Leek Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 leeks, sliced in quarters length-wise to clean and then chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of sour cream (optional)
Salt and pepper
2 strips of bacon (optional)
5-7 mushrooms (optional)

1. (Optional) Slice your bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve on side. When cooled, crush to crumbles. Leave the bacon fat in the pan – this will give your soup a deeper level of flavor.

2. Saute leeks and garlic in the rendered bacon fat, if you used bacon, or some olive oil until soft. (Optional: Reserve some leeks for garnish).

3. Add potatoes to the sauteed leeks and pour in the chicken or vegetable stock.

4. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are falling apart. If preferred, reserve some pieces of potato if you want some texture and return to soup after blending.

5. Optional: Add your two tablespoons of sour cream if you prefer a thicker, creamier soup (you can choose to blend first, see what the soup looks like and then add the sour cream and blend again). Add some salt, if necessary, and pepper.

6. Using an emulsion blender or traditional blender, puree the soup. Add in mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are cooked.

7. Serve in bowls and top with some crumbled bacon and sauteed leeks. We added some thin parmesan shavings (just because).

This will now be added to my arsenal of warming winter soups. Super creamy (with no cream or sour cream added) and flavored with crisp bacon garnish that rounds out the indulgent and comforting flavors of this soup.

Hope your Monday is focused and productive!

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