Thursday, September 23, 2010
Delicious Fast Easy Soup
When I say this is easy... it is EASY! Plus you'll be eating soup within the hour (including the time to prep the ingredients) - soup made from scratch. I happen to have thyme, sorrel, & bay in the house. I love the flavors of thyme & bay together (reminds me of France) & the French Sorrel was something new to me I got in this weeks CSA. If these flavors don't appeal to you, experiment with others.
If you aren't familiar with leeks, they look like scallions on steroids. They are the same family, but milder. They also hold on to dirt like a bugger so you have to follow the instructions to clean them properly. One bite down on a bit of grit can ruin the whole batch.
2 lbs. potatoes
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme - leaves removed & stems discarded
4-5 stems of French Sorrel (from the CSA swap box this week) - stems removed and rough chopped
6-7 cups water
2 bay leaves
To clean your leeks:
First peel off the outer layer by just pulling down from the top. Cut off the tough tops (right below where the leaves start to fan out) and the roots at the end. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and turn the flat side of each half down against the cutting board. You can cut each half separately if you are more comfortable with that, but I place them next to each other and slice down both stalks together - about 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Toss all the sliced leek pieces into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water so the leeks float to the top with room for the dirt to fall to the bottom away from the leeks. Separate the rings of the leeks so all the dirt falls to the bottom. Carefully scoop the leeks out and on to a clean dish towel to drain and dry.
After the leeks are prepped, prep the potatoes. Peel and dice the potatoes (1/4-1/2 inch). I use my big dutch oven, but any large pot will work. Heat up some olive oil in the bottom of your pot (just enough to coat). Add in your leeks. Keep heat around medium - you want the leeks to soften and wilt, but not brown. Add a bit of kosher salt to help them wilt down. It will seem like a lot a first but as the heat up and you stir it occasionally it will wilt down. It will take about 10 minutes. Then add the herbs (I had thyme & French Sorrel) and some fresh ground pepper. Add in 6 cups of the water.
Add the potatoes & bay leaves. Cover and simmer the pot for 30 minutes. Take off the lid and turn off the heat. I use an immersion blender (but I am sure a regular blender will work, just be careful and don't fill too much and cover the top with a towel before turning on) to puree the whole thing right in the pot. Make sure you take the bay leaves out first. If it's too thick for you (it is never too thick for me!), add a some more water, a little at a time till it is at the consistency you like. Taste and adjust s&p if it needs it.
If you want some potato chunks in your soup, first only add 1.5 lbs of the potatoes and follow the instructions. Once the soup is pureed, turn back on the heat and add the half pound of diced potatoes left and let simmer for 30 mins. You'll have a nice creamy soup with little bites of potatoes.