Monday, November 9, 2009

Keuka Gold meets Green Leeks: Potato Leek Soup

Hard to believe there are only two more weekends for most outdoor farmers markets (many shut down the weekend before Thanksgiving). Judging by the weather, and bounty of produce and prepared food at my local market on Saturday, you'd never guess. Since the end is near, I went a bit wild, dropping a bundle on staples like red onions, apples and yams, but also special items like Tuscan kale and vanilla yogurt and Indian food (you gotta love a market that has a stand selling samosas next to a stand that sells winter squash). However, despite being in a buying mood, I wasn't really in a cooking mood over the weekend. But with a new bunch of leeks, and those Keuka Gold potatoes from the Irvington market sitting on my counter for almost a month, I decided to throw together a quick potato leek soup. Keuka Gold (featured in The New York Times last month) have really thin skins, so I just left them unpeeled and diced the well-scrubbed spuds. Perhaps because I chose to leave the skin on, the final product took on the slightest greenish (leek) gray (potato skin) cast. But it tasted great. And was simple to make, leaving me more time to enjoy the Indian summer sun and less at the stove.
Easy Potato Leek Soup
Believe it or not, this soup actually freezes ok, but the components do separate, so you must add dairy after it's thawed to bind the ingredients back together. And if you bring a frozen container to work to heat up for lunch? Stir in one or two of those small containers of creamer at the end! This recipe makes two, 2-cup servings.
2 Leeks, washed and roughly chopped
1 T. Butter
1 T. Olive oil
1 Shallot, roughly chopped
2 Slices of Bacon, diced
1 Lb. of Potatoes, 1/2 inch dice (I used Keuka Gold, but you can sub Yukon Gold)
3 C. Chicken broth
Splash of milk/half and half/cream
Chives, minced (for garnish)
Fresh ground black pepper
Saute leeks in butter and oil over medium heat for about eight minutes (until softened but not browned).
Season liberally with salt and pepper; add shallot and bacon to the leeks and cook for two minutes.
Add potatoes and broth; bring broth to a boil and then turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender.
Turn off heat and let cool slightly; puree with an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender) until desired consistency.
Stir in a splash of milk, half and half, or cream before serving; garnish with chives.

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