Sunday, January 29, 2012

More eating, less designing...

Somehow, I got it into my head that we had to make potato-leek soup this weekend... I think I bought so many potatoes for the french fries that we had a major surplus at the end of that adventure, so then I went out and bought two big bunches of leeks... But then we ate those remaining potatoes (thinly-sliced, roasted in olive oil and salt, oh my god) last night for dinner, so now we've got tons of leeks and no potatoes... Oops. 

What's not to like there?

However, the craving hasn't diminished, so John has gallantly offered to go out and buy more potatoes, and we're going to take David Lebovitz's recipe for a spin.

John's rival
It's possible that when I saw this recipe, I said- out loud- "I would trust David Lebovitz with my life." Granted, I've never met the man, but I think he holds dear many of my same believes: 1.) Eating well is one of life's greatest pleasures, not to be squandered in the face of smaller pants, larger wallets, or fear of the unknown. 2.) Living in Paris and living in New York are the two greatest luxuries and necessities of life. 3.) Assuming you can't live in Paris or New York, you should try to go to both destinations as frequently as possible, even if it means sacrificing smaller pants, larger wallets, and occasionally, encountering the wrath of family and friends. (My words, not his, but I suspect he would agree with my synopsis of his ideology. Maybe we should start a club.)

With no further ado, here's Mr. Lebovitz's Potato-Leek Soup recipe:

Potato Leek Soup
6-8 Servings

2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
4 leeks, washed and sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme; optional
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
6 cups (1.5l) water
1 1/4-pounds (600 g) potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the slices leeks and season with salt. Cook the leeks over moderate heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re completely soft and wilted.
3. Add the thyme, if using, and chile powder, and stir for about 30 seconds, cooking them with the leeks to release their flavor flavors.
4. Pour in the water, and add the potatoes and bay leaf.
5. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife. Depending on which potatoes you used, it could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Pluck out the bay leaves and puree the soup with the white pepper, seasoning with more salt if necessary. I use an immersion (stick) blender, but if you use a standard blender, be sure not to fill it more than half-full and secure the lid, and cover it with a tea towel when blending, to avoid hot soup or steam for causing problems. Don’t use a food processor as that will make the potato purée gummy.
If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water, until it’s the desired consistency.

Mr. Lebovitz recommends that you toss in a couple of wintry greens and a dollop of creme fraiche to garnish this soup. I'll let you know whether that's necessary or if it is delicious enough to stand alone. 

Check back for my full report! 


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