Of Soup; The versatile and courteous Potato Leek | Pictures | Food Newsie

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Of Soup; The versatile and courteous Potato Leek

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Of Soup; The versatile and courteous Potato Leek

There are a couple of food things that never entered the kitchen vocabulary here: Soups and casseroles chief among them. That soups could be considered a meal was a strange and alien thought. Meals consist of portions and servings and different colors of lumps and piles and sauces whereas soups… Well, soups were just a bowl of liquid. They were seen as unexciting and either lacked pretension or were filled to the brim with pretension. I couldn’t figure out which. But the arrival of a baby meant saying farewell to the time that used to be available for recipe hunting, experimenting with shopping and preparing meals. Soups, lucky punks, found their way into the kitchen vocabulary and it should be said, they should have been there the whole time!

Leading the charge of soups that DO make sense as meals is the age old Potato Leek variety. For the new “souper,” shopping for ingredients can quickly become more complicated than it has to be. Of the leeks, only the white above the roots should be eaten just a bit into the green; but they’re sold with nearly 12-inches of green leaves topping 3 to 6-inches of edible parts – that’s just damned annoying. Chopped leeks make a cup with about five to six inches provided the leek is nearly an inch thick, so shop with that in mind.

Potatoes run a frightful gamut – Nearly all potatoes have the same nutrition measure so we shop for the other attributes: We’re looking for high starch and low moisture. According to Dr Gourmet.com a Russet or Long White fits the bill. Potatoes like red and white Round potatoes have lots of moisture, so as attractive as they are, they’re better for roasting and boiling.

Of Soup; The versatile and courteous Potato Leek

Zoomed in to avoid the steamy lens fog, a picture of the ingredients before the blender gets to it. It's worth the extra hardware for the luxury of tossing together some soup ingredients and having the reward of food for days!

Versatility in this soup comes from the fact that countless substitutions can be made and will alter the mood of the soup and fit different diners and seasons. All the variations discussed here begin with 32 oz of stock – vegetable, light and happy, chicken, standard and satisfying, and beef, hearty and dark (beef pictured). To this, you’ll add about 3 cups of sliced leeks, about a pound of potato, and half and white onion and two or three cloves of garlic pan fried in two Tablespoons of butter for a few minutes until soft.

One clever substitution you may come across is a half Cup of Jasmine Rice instead of potato. Thickening a soup can be an art. Potato and heavy cream are the time savers, but rice, quinoa, pear and roux all do the trick too. The heart of this soup is LEEK. Everything else is along for the ride.

At FoodNewsie, we soften the onion and garlic in the pot and add everything once the onions are soft. Then, season to taste with salt and pepper, etc. Once simmered for a twenty minutes, pass your chunky pot contents to a blender, processor or dip in the immersion blender and prepare for the treat! A great smell and sudden transformation of flavors mashes to a thick, delicious soup.

To add to the onion flavor, there’s about a half Cup of Spring Onion or Green Onion added to the image above as well as the whole medium onion. What goes really well, and I mean in all-caps REALLY WELL with this soup is Goat Cheese. It’s easier to find than creme fraiche and its coolness, firmness and freshness at once counter and compliment the soup no matter what substitutions you go with. A little toast, a little butter and some quality stock and you’ll discover the courteous part of this soup – your home will smell amazing for the next few hours whetting everyone’s appetites! For SOUP of all things!

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