Practical Exam #2….Potato Leek Soup

Day 29 of the 31 Day Challenge

Day 29 of the 31 Day Challenge

Soup day!

Soup day!

Last week we had a full day of soups. I love soup so it was a fun day.  Soup is not very hard to make, is something you can easily eat leftover or take to work for lunch, and can be changed up to make many different flavors and textures.  We made four that day….potato leek, coconut lentil, corn, and mock clam chowder. The potato leek soup (the one at the very top of the photo) is on our practical test later this week.  It is not hard to make but it is hard to get it the exact right consistency the chef is looking for….too thin and watery is not good, but thick like a puree is out too.  Since you aren't being graded I highly recommend making this one and not worrying about your thickness too much.  

image from http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/leek-and-potato-soup

image from http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/leek-and-potato-soup

Julia Child made famous a chilled version of this soup called vichyssoise (read here) that is a typical French recipe.  You can make many versions by adjusting the ingredients a bit.   It is also delcious served warm which is what we did.  It seems on first pass like this might not be a very healthy soup.  I think it is actually quite good for you. Potatoes are not the devil people make them out to be.  They are cooked here with leek, only a little butter and some vegetable stock.  At the end you stir in a little bit of milk.  You could certainly use cream but I think this soup is decadent enough with milk.   It takes about 30 minutes to make, but most of that time is just the potatoes cooking on the stove. You puree it in a blender.  I used to always use my immersion blender but I am new convert to using the Vitamix or regular blender.  The consistency really is much smoother.  If dirtying the blender is a deterrent to making this soup, by all means use the immersion blender. It is too good to pass up! 

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Potato and Leek Soup

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: soup/stew vegetarian potatoes

Ingredients (3-4 servings)

  • 1 leek
  • 1 large Russet potato
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • salt
  • 32 oz vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of milk (2%) or cream (for a more decadent version)
  • pepper
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • green onions or chives, sliced thinly (optional)

Instructions

Cut off the green part of the leek and the root end. Slice into thin rounds. Put into a bowl of water and wash well. Leeks have a lot of dirt so be careful. Drain.

Melt the butter in a medium soup pot. Add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook over low to medium heat until soft but not browned. While cooking, peel the potato and cut it into small chunks.

When the leeks are soft, add the potato cubes and stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, blend the potatoes and stock in a blender, creating a smooth soup. Return soup to the pot. Add in the milk. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with sliced green onions and cheddar cheese, if using.

The consistency of this soup should be smooth and moderately thick. If it is too thick you can add more milk. If you are worried your soup will be too thin (your potato is small), remove about 1 cup of the stock before blending. Add the milk then adjust the thickness with the reserved stock as needed.

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