I am VERY excited to write and publish this post, as these experiments reflect the way I currently approach the kitchen. I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘intention’ and ‘attention’ both in my moment-to-moment decision making and in my bigger picture hopes and dreams. These experiments are one avenue for me to press pause, and have some fun! I’ll document my first attempts at cooking a new dish, celebrate any delicious successes, and reflect on all of the things that I want to improve.
This first experiment was born after Friends Thanksgiving 2015 when we had a HUGE bag of potatoes left over. After consulting some of my favorite sites, I found this recipe as well as this one. Our freezer had no bacon, and I was hoping for less cream, so more searching led me to this potato leek soup. The result was a success!
Steps & Notes:
- Prepare the leeks by cutting them in half length-wise, washing them under cold water, and then dicing them.
- The recipe calls for 3 leeks, and I only had 2. In the end, that extra leek was sorely missed. Next time I will be sure to add the proper amount of leeks to bring out that yummy flavor.
- She gave the brilliant tip of saving the green parts for stock. Done!
- Cook the leeks in 3 tablespoons of butter. Cover them and let them cook on low heat for about 10 minutes until they are softened. Make sure not to brown them.
- Add some stock (4 cups), the potatoes (2 pounds), and the spices (1/2 teaspoon of thyme, a bay leaf, a ‘pinch’ of marjoram, and 1 teaspoon of salt)
- The recipe called for russet or yukon golds, but I went with red as it was what we had left over. I was happy with the potato-ness of the final soup and would use reds again.
- Remove the bay leaf, blend the soup to your desired consistency, and then sprinkle in fresh parsley, a few drops of hot sauce, some fresh pepper, and salt to taste.
- I first only blended half of the soup but we both found that it tasted better fully blended.
- We didn’t have an appropriate hot sauce so I used some crushed red pepper which added yummy heat.
When learning a new recipe, I read as many perspectives as time allows. This week I also read through the comments section which contained a wealth of ideas. Now, when recreating this recipe, I have many new adaptation options:
- Roast garlic in the oven and then add that to the soup before blending
- Add corn and/or ham after blending for some texture and flavor
- Cook the leeks in white wine
- Top the final soup with cheese (um, yes please!)
- Try playing with different spices – curry, old bay, rosemary
- Serve the soup with an herbed focaccia or bread
- Top the soup with crumbled bacon
This is one that I plan to keep in the rotation. Overall it was simple, can be made with items that are usually around the house, and there are SO many more variations for me to try in the future. Onward!