Don’t you just love leek & potato soup? Or really, any soup?
It’s one of those things that I have very fond memories of from when I was a kid. Well, not really. We ate a lot of boxed Lipton noodles (which I still crave when I’m sick) and I distinctly remember cans upon cans of Campbell’s Mushroom soup in the cupboard.
Don’t get me wrong – my momma definitely made soup. Split pea with ham, mainly. And to this very day it’s still one of my favorites. I regularly buy it from the grocery store – though it’s not nearly as satisfying, flavorful and amazing as my mom’s. I’d make it myself but rarely have a hock of ham laying about. Maybe that’s something I need to change.
Yup. I love soup. I love Cauliflower Soup and French Onion and Winter Veg Wonton Soup, and Curried Winter Squash and of course my regular go to, Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup. Or even my friend Kirsten’s Silken Turnip & Potato Soup. Or her Potato, Beet & Leek Soup. Or Meghan’s Stuffed Artichoke Soup! Or Casey’s classic Broccoli Cheese Soup. You get the idea – I love soup!
There is just one thing I am emphatically anti when it comes to soup. Tomato.
I hate tomato soup. My brother and I agree that this must be attributed to our childhood babysitter who used to make us eat it, day in, day out no matter what. We couldn’t leave the table until we finished our bowls of astringent yet sickeningly sweet tomato soup that tasted more like can and ketchup, than soup. With crackers, thank you very much. She’d make us sit there all day if necessary. And now I can’t even stand the smell of the stuff. And as far as I know, my baby bro can’t either. Of course, it was probably far less traumatic than I’m making it out to be. Wendy – the babysitter – was a pretty awesome lady. And really, there are worse things she could have fed us for lunch. Like kittens. Or moonshine. Or raw coconut.
….I hate raw coconut. Almost as much as I hate tomato soup.
Here’s the ridiculousness though when it comes to soup: We buy it. And because of that, we don’t actually eat soup very often but rather a bastardized version of the stuff. Why, when something is so simple, so delicious and so affordable, do we allow ourselves into the “inside isles” at the grocery store to pick out a bland, soggy, processed version of the real thing? It’s so easy to make! SO easy to make! And way better than the store bought gloop we tend to call soup.
Take my insanely tasty leek and potato soup for instance. In just over half an hour, you can have a completely local, totally amazing, organic, seasonal and preservative free dinner. Or lunch. For the entire duration of the week! Kind. Of. Awesome.
- 1 Lb Waxy Potatoes.
- 3 Large Leeks.
- 1/2 Spanish Onion.
- 3 Medium Carrots.
- 4 C Veggie or Chicken Stock.
- 6 C Water.
- 1 Bay Leaf.
- Sprig of Woody Herb (ie Savory, Marjoram, Thyme or Oregano).
- 1/2 C Heavy Cream.
- 3 Tbsp Butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- 4 Pieces of Good Quality Bacon, chopped into 1/2" pieces (garnish).
- Handful of Fresh Chives, finely chopped. (garnish).
- Pre-heat your stock pot over medium heat. Add bacon into hot pot and brown until crispy, stirring often. Remove with a slotted spoon into a paper towel lined dish. Set aside.
- As the bacon cooks, slice and dice all the vegetables so they're roughly the same size - approx. 1 - 1 1/2" pieces. Once you remove the bacon from the pot, add the onion and leeks to the remaining bacon fat. Stir often and if necessary (depending on how fatty your bacon was), add a glug of olive oil. Stirring often, cook until softened, but not browned - approx. 4-5 minutes.
- Add the water and stock, making sure to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot for flava! (that's flavor).
- Dump in the carrots, potatoes, herb sprig, bay leaf and season generously with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat to high, bring to a boil and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Turn the heat to low - compost bay leaf and whatever is left of the herb stem.
- Carefully scoop out half the soup/veggies into a blender or food processor, puree for just a few seconds. Pour back into pot, add cream & butter, taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Dish up and garnish liberally with cooked bacon and chopped chives.
- Tip: Slice the bacon when it's just come out of the fridge with a sharp knife - it'll slide through the fat easier than if the bacon is warm.
Don’t you just love soup? What’s your favorite? Any soup qualms? How about soup queries? Let’s talk soup mcgoop!