Potato Leek Soup

What has gotten into me over the past few weeks?!?  I say that I don’t particularly like potatoes, yet here I go with another potato recipe.

It’s just that I found such beautiful leeks at the farmer’s market! I couldn’t help but make potato leek soup.  When searching for soup recipes, I found that most let the leeks blend into the background.  In my opinion, the leeks should be the star of the show, with a supporting cast of potatoes.  And so, I created my own version of potato leek soup, with a few simple ingredients.

Potato Leek

Potato Leek Soup:
I serve this soup with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese, and a lightly toasted slice of French bread.

 
Ingredients:
5 large leeks
1 1/2 lbs thin-skinned potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

Slice the leeks into half-moons, and rinse extremely well, as leeks tend to hold hidden dirt.  Scrub the potatoes, and chop into small pieces.  Set the potatoes and leeks aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme.  Cook until the leeks begin to soften, about 8 minutes.  Add the potatoes to the pot, along with enough water to cover the ingredients.  Cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the potatoes are soft, topping off with water as needed.

When the potatoes are fully cooked, puree the mixer with an immersion blender, or in a blender.*  (I like to leave the soup slightly chunky, as it adds an extra textural element).  Once the soup is blended to your desired texture, add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy.


*If you do use a blender, make sure to puree in batches, and cover the top with a towel.  The steam causes extra pressure, so be careful not to overfill the blender container!



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Screaming Potatoes

Whether baked, fried, or mashed, potatoes have never been my favorite item on the plate.  I always want something more–more texture, more flavor, more oomph!  It seems ironic then, that the star ingredient of my first post happens to be potatoes.

These potatoes, however, stand out from the typical potato crowd.  Fluffy on the inside and addictively crunchy on the outside, flavored with rosemary, thyme, and garlic–these will convert any potato-hater.  My favorite part is hearing the little spuds scream as they come out of the oven, telling you they’re ready to eat.

Screaming Potatoes

Screaming Potatoes:

I wouldn’t call this a recipe, as much as a technique.  Feel free to put your own unique twist on the herbs and spices used.  I would imagine that chili powder and garlic, or curry powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic would be divine!  Go ahead, be creative.

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2 pounds of assorted, thin-skinned potatoes
Generous drizzle of olive oil (I use around 4 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 tablespoon thyme
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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into bite sized pieces.  Scatter evenly on the baking sheet.  Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil (you can also use melted butter, if you prefer).  Sprinkle the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme over the potatoes.  Mix with your hands until the potatoes are evenly coated.  When potatoes are cooked through, which will take approximately 25 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes, place under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Enjoy

Note: Do not eat until the little spuds stop screaming, or you’ll be the winner of a very burnt mouth!