Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

Archive for the tag “potato”

Lazy Potato Leek Corn Soup

I need to confess, I ordered pizza this weekend instead of making it. (Oh, the horror, the horror)

I want to see if anyone else does what I do when I order pizza.  Instant regret.  It comes, I eat it.  Then, I start to think about how much I paid for dough, sauce, cheese and toppings.  I have everything I need to make a pizza in my cupboards and fridge and it would have been a lot cheaper.  But making it would have involved work, so it’s a trade off.  Still, every time, I go through the same thing.

And what do you think I did AFTER I ate the pizza?  Yeah, you’re right.  I cooked.  Kind of ironic, huh?  Or maybe not.
Anyways, this soup didn’t take long at all and it fed right into my laziness since I put corn on the cob right into the soup to cook. instead of cooking it and then de-kernelling it (have we determined the correct word for that yet?).

Lazy Potato Leek Corn Soup

  • 2 leeks, chopped and washed well
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 4 small potatoes
  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and broken into pieces
  • 3 pints of stock – veggie stock makes this a wonderful vegetarian soup!
  • salt and pepper

Melt the butter and cook the leeks and onion for a few minutes.  While this is cooking, I cut the potatoes and shucked the corn.  By the time I was finished, the leeks and onions were soft so I added the flour to make yet another roux.  I’ve been in love with this method the past few weeks, can you tell?  I added the stock and let it come to a simmer, then added the potatoes and corn and let it all cook for about 20 minutes.

The worst part of this soup?  Just how good it smells, and I’m not hungry anymore!

The best part?  The PURPLE POTATOES!!! Did you know they came in all purple? And all red? And there are so many other types of potatoes besides the few that I knew about.  They aren’t typically in the grocery store, although I have seen the purple ones recently.  I was so silly excited when I picked up these purples from my farmer that he gave me a mini potato lesson.  I’m totally on a search for all types of potatoes now.

This is why my soup has a purplish hue! 🙂

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Potato Leek Soup Twice!

Potato Leek Soup

If you want to make a real vegetarian soup, you need to have vegetable stock.  I’m not afraid to make a vegetable soup with chicken stock, but sometimes it’s good to change it up a bit. Plus having extra vegetables in one’s diet, even if liquid form, is never ever a bad thing.  It’s especially useful when you get these wonderful looking leeks from the farmer market and you don’t want to let the tough green parts go to waste.

It’s also really easy and exactly like making chicken stock minus the chicken bones.  So, take all the vegetable butts (remember those?) out of your freezer, add the leek tops and any other veggie pieces you have lying about, put ’em in your crock pot, add water, turn on low and wait until the veggies don’t really look like veggies anymore. (4-8 hours).  By the way, the crock pot is my favorite way of cooking things. I use it at least twice a week and I’m considering getting another one… anyone have an extra they want to get rid of? 😉

Potato Leek Soup (not creamy)

  • Stock
  • 3-4 small Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Leeks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • thyme, marjoram, bay leaf (or anything you like)
  • salt and pepper
  • butter/olive oil

I like to saute the leeks in a little butter and season them with salt, pepper and herbs* (not the bay yet).  Once they’ve gotten soft and smell even better than they did raw, add the chopped garlic and saute another minute or so.  Add a little bit of stock and de-glaze the bottom of the pan, then add the potatoes and enough stock to cover them and the bay leaf.  Bring it to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft.  I like to squish them a little bit after they’ve cooked, just so there’s a nice mix of potato chunks and mashed potatoes.  This is how I made this week’s soup, but here’s another version that’s also good!

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

  • Same ingredients as above
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk

Some differences – This way has to use butter and the measurements are important.  Also, you’ll want the potatoes to be precooked. I usually bake them and then chop them up to add to the soup.

Saute the leeks in 2 tbsp butter.  Once the leeks are soft, add the herbs* and 2 tbsp flour to make a roux.  Cook the roux, stirring almost constantly until the flour and butter have been incorporated together.  This usually takes about 3-5 minutes.  When your roux is ready, add 1/2 cup stock and whisk until the roux has been incorporated and then add another 1/2 cup of stock and the milk.  Bring to a simmer for a few minutes – you’ll know it’s ready when the soup has thickened a bit; It will thicken more as it cools.

*This is when I add dry herbs.  If you are using fresh ones (lucky) then add them at the end.

Food Art

This is my kitchen bar counter.  A lot of the vegetables I get need to be stored at room temperature, or slightly below.  The fridge is too cold, so they spoil quickly if I put them in there.  The squash should probably be somewhere like a root cellar, but the counter will have to do.  They seem to keep just fine as long as I use them in a few days.

I’ve started to call the bar area of my kitchen, my still life counter.  On Fridays, after I pick up new veggies and arrange them on my counter, I feel like I should get an easel and paintbrush out and get to work. 😉

It’ really satisfying to use them up one by one and see my still life painting be depleted of all its subjects, and then refilled the next week with different ones. This week I plan to make, Lamb over potatoes with a basil balsamic sauce, Squash stuffed with sage pork ragu (is it still a ragu without the pasta?), Pork BBQ hash and Potato Leek Soup (yes, I know it’s July).  I’ll try to post recipes, the problem is remembering to write down what I do as I’m doing it.

Now, where are my oil paints?

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