Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Potato and Leek Soup

Remember when I took that wonderful trip to Ireland?  Well I've been reminiscing about it quite a bit lately.  Dreaming of those luscious rolling green hills, their beautiful accents, and all of the goat cheese I can eat.  Seems like a weird list of things to be dreaming about but I promise, there it all makes sense.  It's a little painful how badly I want to return. 
So to ease that pain for the time being I thought I would make an Irish soup.  Better than nothing right?  Right.  Also, Nick is a bit under the weather and this is one of Kaston's favorites so I figured with three good reasons I had no choice but to whip it up. 
You should make this soup and then go to Ireland.  Or go to Ireland and then make this soup.  Or go to Ireland and have the Irish make you this soup.  Any of the above will work however; option three might be the best choice.
 Potato and Leek Soup 
Makes: 4-6 servings   Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes  Total Time: 40 minutes
  • 4 potatoes, scrubbed and dice into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 leeks, cut lengthwise, separated, and chopped (use only the white and light green parts)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 ounces pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
 1. Scrub potatoes, and dice into 1/2 inch cubes.  Clean the leeks.
2. Cut leeks lengthwise, separate layers, and chop.

 3. In a large stockpot cook pancetta until crisp.  When done remove onto a paper towel and set aside.
4. Add butter and olive oil to the stockpot.
5. Once butter is melted, add leeks, onions, and garlic with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes.  Watch carefully making sure not to brown the leeks.
6. Add a sprig or two of fresh rosemary.
7. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.
 8. Throw in the potatoes and top with a lid.  Turn up to medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or so.
 9. After 20 minutes, place about half of the soup into a blender and puree.
10. Return the puree to the pot and add crisp pancetta and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
11. Salt and pepper to taste.
 11. Fun fact: Save your cheese rinds to add to soups instead of just throwing them away!  They get soft and are absolutely delicious in soup. 
 12. Ready to serve!
 13. Top with fresh rosemary or with a side of yummy bread.
 14. I had mine with the Mighty Grain Salad (which is divine!) that I featured in my Meal Plan Monday post from this week!

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