Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leek and Potato Dill Soup



This is my lunch meal of the week.  Something I knew my husband wouldn't love, but I wanted to try.  Alex was a trooper.  He took one bite and was pleasantly surprised that he liked the flavor.

This was my first time cooking with leeks.  I had no clue how they were going to taste!  I bought 3-1lb. frozen bags from Trader Joe's.  On the way home I kept smelling something like garlic in the car, but knew I didn't buy garlic.  When I got home and cut open the bag I thought the leeks smelt kind of like onion.  Alex looked them up and sure enough they are in the onion and garlic family.  My nose was right on!

The recipe called for 6.5 cups of vegetable broth.  I only used one carton.  You can use the recommended amount if you like it a little thinner.

I think, with the addition of the cheese, this soup tastes like a healthy french onion soup without the bread.  It made about 5 servings so I froze three for another week because I thought I might get sick of it if I ate it every single day this week for lunch.

I think this soup would taste great served with some toasted french bread.  I enjoyed it with some tortilla chips.

On a side note, my best friend from high school, Molly, is super talented in a the sewing and monogramming department.  You should check out her blog.  Here is a sample of a blanket she crocheted for me when I got married (almost 5 years ago).



Leek Soup with Dill Oil
Source: 101cookbooks.com



Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill ~ .5 oz (the container I bought from Publix was 1 oz so I used half)
  • 9 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3.5 lbs. of leeks (or 3-1b. bags of frozen leeks)
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter (or if you use salted like I did just skip the addition of salt)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large, potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6.5 cups of vegetable broth, heated
  • Toppings: toasted almonds (I skipped this) and grated Gruyère cheese (I used a mixed cheese of grated Gruyère and swiss)
Directions:

In a blender or food processor, puree the dill and olive oil into a creamy green emulsion.  Set aside.

Cut the dark, tough green leaves from the leeks, trim off the roots, and wash/rinse well if you are using fresh leeks.  Slice the leeks and chop roughly.  If you are using frozen skip this step.



In a large soup pot, heat the butter and 5 tbsp. of dill oil over medium high heat.  When the butter is melted and bubbling, stir in the leeks (frozen or fresh) and a few pinches of salt.  Stir until the leeks are well coated.  Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften up and collapse, 6-8 minutes (a little longer if you used frozen).



 Now, stir in the potatoes and garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring regularly, for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft (they should be soft enough to mash with a potato masher).  Turn the heat down if the leeks start to brown at the bottom of the pot.  Make sure to stir the bottom so they do not over cook.  At this point mash everything in pot with a potato masher or large fork.  Mash as much or as little as you like depending on your preference for chunky or smooth soup.  Stir in the hot broth until the thickness reaches your liking.  Bring back to a simmer and serve hot topped with almonds, cheese, and a drizzle of remaining dill oil.

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