Soup is easily on my top ten favorite foods list. It is warm (and I am never warm enough), it is nostalgic ( it reminds me of moms, home cooking, and sick days), and it can be relatively healthy (when you want it to be).
Mike is exceptionally skilled at making soups. We love to spend Sunday’s preparing meals for the week and soup is often our go-to lunch. This helps us to keep an eye on our budget and our waistline. We make a variety of soups ENTIRELY from scratch, including our own stock (this helps us keep it low sodium). Generally we steer clear from cream based soups. We primarily make chicken& rice, beef veg, or ham&bean.
This year we signed up for a weekly local crop share that forced me to ‘cook outside of the lines!’ When I received a few bunches of leeks the only thing that came to mind was potato&leek soup. I avoided looking up the recipe for sometime- assuming it was full of milk, butter, or cream. All the potato& leek soups I have ever had were so velvety, I believed there is no way it could be made without! Eventually the thought of waste encouraged my research. I found a recipe that yielded just a half cup of milk and – Voila! My new favorite soup.
GAME CHANGER: The recipe I originally read called for chicken broth. I already had some smoked turkey broth on reserve. This added a luscious bacony flavor that makes this soup taste like a total cheat. You can use any broth you choose based on diet or availability. I must say though, the real reason I rave about this soup is because of the smokey flavor. To make your own smoked turkey broth you will want to venture out to a local butcher or meat deli. I picked up a pack of smoked turkey ‘parts’ (usually spine) for $2.00. At home I boil them for a few hours. After I remove all meat parts from the bone (for the most favorite of dog treats), I store the homemade broth or stock in my fridge or freezer. Not only are the parts cheap, I have created dog treats, cooking broth, AND using the bones for stock adds nutrients while avoiding the preservatives that a bouillon will add. $2.00 win!
• 1 bunch leeks (4 to 5)
• 1/2 large white onion, chopped
• 2 cubed russet potatoes (I like to keep the peels on:that’s where the nutrients are kept! oh and it saves lots of time.)
• 1 tbsp flour
• 1 tbsp butter
• 4 cups homemade smoked turkey broth! (or any low-sodium broth you can get your hands on)
• 1/2 cup whole milk (go all out with fat content here, it makes the difference for texture and you are using such a small amount)
• pinch of sea salt and loads of fresh cracked pepper
Cube potatoes to a 1/2 inch. Slice leeks up to the dark green stem. (Note; Leeks have layers and they hold on to dirt- make sure to give them a very good wash after slicing). Chop onions to 1/4 inch. I use a mandoline for the leeks and ninja blender for my onions to speed up my food prep. Use what you have.
Create a roux. This is my roux tip: while the butter is melting in the bottom of your pot on medium heat quickly whisk 1 tbsp of milk and 1 tbsp of flour in a separate bowl. Then using a wooden spoon add your flour mixture to the melted butter and stir. This helps keep the flour from ceasing up and becoming a dough. Roux makes your soup thick in the end and gives a smooth salty flavor from butter.
Now add stock/broth, leeks, onion, and potatoes to your roux at medium/high. Once it reaches a boil you want to cover the pot and move the temperature to low. Allow the soup to simmer for 25 minutes. Once you are able to easily pierce the potato with a fork, your cooking process is complete.
Pull the soup and blend. If you have an immersion blender this is a bonus. I do not, so I used a nutribullet! I added milk, salt, and LOTS of fresh ground pepper to taste as I was blending.
Do you have a must-try soup recipe we can add to our lunch menu?