Potato and Leek Soup (a work in progress...)

Potato and Leek Soup (a work in progress…)

October 11, 2010

13

Sometimes we make things in the kitchen that taste good but there’s something that’s a little… off. Earlier this year I took a trip to Seattle and had the best bowl of potato and leek soup at Bizarro Italian Cafe. It was one of those memorable dishes that you can’t really get out of your mind so you try to recreate it at home. Yes, “try” is the main word. And I guess sometimes, that’s all that matters.

Below is the soup from Bizarro. The photo does it negatives amount of justice so use your imagination 😉

DSC01323.JPG

I think the “issue” with attempting to recreate a terrific dish is that you’ll always compare what you make to it. I found this recipe for fresh herb, potato and leek soup on the Epicurious app on my iPhone last week and decided to just give it a go. I figured it would be a nice base for experimentation!

Here’s what I used:

IMG_0864.JPG

IMG_0865.JPG

• 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 5 cups low-salt chicken broth. [umm… please ignore the beef broth in the photo. Another reason why I shouldn’t cook and talk on the phone because I photograph the wrong items ;)]
• 3 cups water
• 3 large leeks (white and pale green part only), chopped
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
• hot pepper sauce/Tabasco

Here’s what you do:

IMG_0867.JPG

• Bring the first 8 ingredients to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the soup begins to thicken, about an hour.

IMG_0873.JPG

• Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and puree.

• Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.

One thing I vividly remembered from the “ideal” soup was it had a chive oil mixed in. So, naturally I recreated that. This, was definitely as I remembered. Most likely because creating a chive oil is pretty simple. Just take a bunch of chives and a bit of olive oil, blend in a food processor, and season with salt. It’s a simple and delicious way to add a bit of additional flavor and a bright punch of color!

IMG_0868.JPG

IMG_0875.JPG

IMG_0881.JPG

I also tossed in some homemade croutons for a lil’ crunch, too 😉
IMG_0892.JPG

So, like I said earlier, this soup tasted wonderfully. Between the fresh herbs and the subtle leek flavor I thought it worked really well. I even had a good amount of leftovers and ate them all without any hesitation. I think the thing that made feel like it wasn’t a total winner was the fact that I kept comparing it to the “ideal” soup I had in Seattle which was the perfect soupy consistency. My soup was a bit too thick and no matter what I did to thin it down it just wasn’t working for me. And as the potatoes started getting stickier and the hunger started kicking it I just really wanted to eat so I decided to let it be. Maybe I was just having an off day in the kitchen?!? I never dabble much with soups but this is one I’ll definitely try to perfect!

Does anyone have any soup tricks? Especially when working with such a starchy food like potatoes? Or does anyone have the perfect potato and leek soup recipe … I’m looking at you Bizarro Cafe! 😉

[chels]

Tagged With

13 Responses to "Potato and Leek Soup (a work in progress…)"

  1. NOM NOM this looks fabulous. I *LOVE* soup with croutons – makes me happy.

  2. Erica says:

    I am a fan of thicker soups….so this looks perfect to me! The only thing I can think of to thin it out would to be to decrease the amount of potatoes and cook them even longer (so they’re super soft and will blend out a bit thinner?). That is the only thing I can think of. The croutons on top is a nice touch too

  3. Different potatoes cook differently and release varying amounts of starch, so it might just be a matter of choosing a different potato. Also, try adding more stock — I’ve had good luck using stock to thin a soup, with the bonus that it contributes more flavour. Looks like the soup you had at the restaurant uses a lot more cream.

  4. Carolyn says:

    I made some potato leek soup last year and LOVED it, but I don’t remember where I got the recipe. 🙁

  5. Lauren says:

    Mmmm I love potato & leek soup… my mom makes a fantastic version, and I just emailed her for the recipe. I will forward it to you when I get it :).

  6. RebeccaC says:

    See Julia’s from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In addition to adding more (hot) stock to thin you need butter. Always finish a soup like this with a good dollop of butter. Does wonders for the texture. Still looks delish as is though ; )

  7. Sharlene says:

    This looks delicious! And quite similar to the soup you had in Seattle. I understand though. I ate at L’Espalier in Boston last year and had the most amazing fried chicken that I’ve been craving every since. For my birthday, we went out to a Southern restaurant so I could satisfy my craving but even though the chicken was good it wasn’t the same. It’s somewhat frustrating to not be able to fully enjoy a meal because you’re dreaming of another! I’m definitely going to try this one out though.

  8. I keep putting potato and leek soup on my to-do list but still haven’t gotten to it! I actually like super thick soups so I hardly have the need to thin it out… Your recipe looks good to me and I might try this – and add bacon!

  9. Monique says:

    I’d use less taters. Maybe half the taters since they are starchy and expand. I think the tater flavor will still be present… thick or thin your concoction looks fantabulous!

  10. Evan @swEEts says:

    I think it still sounds delicious despite its thickness! I like my soups a little on the thicker side so I think I’m going to try this because I’ve been meaning to try something with leeks!

  11. I make a great potato soup, and I cook the potatoes, carrots, and onion with 1 cup water first, then after everything’s soft i add 2 c milk. this still makes a thicker soup but i think adding the milk last (the most quantity of liquid) makes it thinner than it could be. then, the longer i cook it, the thicker it gets. more control, i guess… here’s my link: http://pajamachef.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/potato-soup/

  12. i love a thick soup – i’ll be using your recipe version!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *