Friday, October 3, 2008
Well, there's a snap in the air, perfect football weather, sunny during the day, but crisp, and cool at night and getting darker earlier. Time to start transitioning from Barbecuing, potato salad, cucumbers, and the usual summer harvest.
It's time for some SOUP!
(And truth be told, I bought a new Immersion Blender and wanted to try it out, so forget all that season changing stuff, lol)
I personally like to make soup in the crockpot. I love cooking it all day, (or all night) and having that aroma waft through the air. The one downfall is, that because I've smelled it all day, tasted it endless times, that by the time it's done, I don't want any. LOL
But, it's even better the next day and the days after that. Besides, this soup freezes very well.
Here we go, Crock Pot Potato Leek Soup.
3 large russet potatoes
2 large containers chicken broth
1 medium sweet onion
1 large shallot
1 tablespoon italian seasonings
1 cup apple juice or cider (Yes, apple juice or cider)
1 cup heavy cream
parsley for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the first tough outer leek leaves until the white and pale green parts are showing. Rinse well as leeks can be very gritty. You may even want to strain them after cutting but I've never found that necessary if you peel and wash well.
Chop the white and pale green parts only fairly thin and add to crock pot:
Now peel and finely dice the onion and add to crock pot.
Wash the potatoes and remove any blemishes on the outside. Leave the skins intact. You may slice or chop or dice the potatoes anyway you like. It won't make any difference as you are going to cook them long enough that they will be very soft. Add them to crock pot.
Peel and mince shallot and add to crock pot.
Add Italian seasoning.
Add the chicken broth. The reason I didn't specify a specific size of broth to get is that crock pots vary in size and shape. You want just enough broth to just cover the vegetables.
Add apple juice.
Add pepper to taste. (I like a healthy dose of pepper)
Heat on high for two hours until it comes to a boil and then turn down to low and cook for another 6 hours approximately.
In the last hour of cooking, salt the soup. At first it will taste bland and obviously needs salt, but be careful. You may know this, I know this, and I still mess up occasionally. It's easy to salt soup, taste it 5 minutes later, and because it still tastes bland, add more salt. It takes at least 20 minutes and a good stirring before you are sure of the saltiness. It's easy to oversalt if you aren't careful. And there's nothing worse than a huge beautiful pot o'soup that's too salty. So be patient in the salting of it.
An hour before the cooking ends, add one cup of heavy cream. At this point you can use a hand potato masher directly in the crockpot to break up the potatoes and leeks, or puree in batches in a food processor, OR use your spiffy new Immersion Blender:
I wouldn't puree ALL of the soup, as I like it to be still having some chunks of potato and leek. As for the Immersion Blender, be careful there too, they work FAST! Before you know, you've pureed the entire batch.
Anyway, it's a very comforting and very satisfying soup. I hope you enjoy it.