31 January 2011

potato fauxtato leek soup

It's so cold, and there are rumors of another midweek snowstorm. Last week's midweekstorm totally crushed VA/DC/MD... friends and coworkers were reporting 6, 7, even 8 hour commutes home (if they even made it home at all)! Holy sheesh, right. I am SO glad that I left work before it really started and I got home with no problems. I was all warm, toasty, catching up on DVRs cuz I never lost power... Now I'm just bragging, lol. Anyways, like I said, it's pretty cold, so it's time for  soup.
Unphotogenic soup, but soup nonetheless, lol.

Normally I prefer brothy soups like miso, wonton, or this or this. I had a potato and leek soup at Cafe Du Parc (it was also brothy) the other week and I liked the flavor. When I was looking for similar recipes, nearly all of them were a creamy or thick version, so hey, why not branch out? And by creamy and thick versions, I mean they usually call for heavy cream and a lot of butter. To lighten it up, I used a touch of milk and since I had some cauliflower left in my freezer, and since I know cauliflower make acceptable mashed fauxtatoes, I figured I'd toss them into the mix. Verdict? It makes a hearty and slightly creamy and oh hey it's generally pretty healthy soup. If the snow does come and I'm stuck indoors, at least I know I'll have something nummy to eat!

Potato Fauxtato Leek Soup
adapted from Potato Leek Soup I at allrecipes.com

4 C chicken stock
1.5 lb white potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1 lb cauliflower florets
1 leek, (white part and a bit of the green, but not the leaves up top... about 3-4" of it)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp white wine
1/2 C milk (I used 1%)
salt and pepper to taste
Special equipment: immersion blender or food processor

Put stock, potatoes, and cauliflower florets into a medium pot and bring to a boil.

While the potato and cauliflower is coming to a boil, cut the leek in half lengthwise and soak in water for a few minutes to clean. Take out and slice finely. In a small pan, melt butter with the canola oil over medium. Add the leeks and sautee until translucent. Add the white wine and cook 3 more minutes.

Check that the potatoes and caluflower are fork tender. Turn off heat. Add leeks and milk and mix. Using an immersion blender*, blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1 tsp salt and just a bit of pepper. If you want it thinner, add more broth and reseason accordingly.

* If you don't have an immersion blender, blend in batches in a food processor.

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