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December’s Third Thursday – Taking a Leek December 16, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in soupe du semaine, Third Thursday.
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Welcome to the December 2010 installment of Third Thursdays!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m having a bit of trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that it’s the THIRD THURSDAY IN DECEMBER!  Christmas is less than 10 days away – and then the new year is just after that!  Where, I ask you, does the time go?

PhotobucketI’ll tell you where it goes, at least around here lately – it goes to shoveling the driveway.   (Mostly Peeps, but still.)  It has done nothing but snow snow snow for DAYS now!  And the only reason we’re not snowed in is because I can drive The Tank through a blizzard now.  Well, that, and Harley Guy‘s keeping our shared driveway plowed!

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So what better way to warm up on a cold, snowy evening than with a nice bowl of soup, right?  And, what with the vegetable surpluses we frequently experience, well, it only made sense to make a warm, creamy vegetable soup!

A while back, I don’t even remember when, I added Daily Unadventures In Cooking to my Google reader, and I’ve been following Katerina for several months now – she’s recently started culinary school, and one of her first recipes was for Cream of Leek Soup.

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This is such a simple soup – simple to make, simple flavors – but it’s, honestly, drop-dead delicious.

(And I have no doubt the technique would work well with other vegetables – particularly aromatic veggies like onions or even garlic.)

So we start with a bunch of leeks, sliced thinly, along with some diced onion – I was doubling Katerina’s recipe, so I started with a large bunch of leeks, which translated to about 8 cups, and a smallish onion.

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Sweat that in about half a stick of butter over very low heat with a good pinch of salt and a smaller pinch of pepper.

Probably using white pepper would be better, but, well, you know me.  Whatever.

Once the leeks are softened, you’re going to use the butter you cooked them in, and a roughly equal amount of flour (that would be 1/4 cup with a half stick of butter) to create a roux – leeks and all.

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That’s only going to take a couple of minutes of stirring, then add about a quart and a half of stock – vegetable stock if you’re going the “meatless” route – I used diluted chicken stock.

Now it’s almost soup – let it simmer until the leeks are tender – not more than 15 or 20 minutes.

Then, and this is the cool part – add some chopped (or not) fresh parsley.  What Katerina says is

the parsley will encourage a green colour in the soup.

Which, I guess, is not a bad thing – after all,  vegetables should be green, right?

Well, unless they’re something like squash or sweet potatoes.  Or beets.

But you know what I mean.

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And so anyway, once the leeks are tender, we blended the soup (carefully, of course!) and, with the parsley, it turned the loveliest shade of green (that you really can’t tell in this light).  We immediately froze half of it – a quart – and to the rest, we added just a couple of tablespoons of half and half (mainly because I’d picked some up on sale) and some crumbled bacon.

And wow, was it good – lovely, creamy, leeky flavor, warm and filling, without the heaviness of other, more cream-filled creamy soups.

This soup actually tastes like leeks.  (Which is a good thing!)

And, of course, if you’d like to play along with our Third Thursday challenge, leave a comment with a link to (or description of) your Third Thursday project – tell us what you’re up to!  For loose guidelines, or if you want to check out some past Thursdays, they’re right here! 

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Comments

1. judy - December 16, 2010

loved the title! my brain works in small ways. 🙂 chili in the crock pot for me. 30 degrees now with 100% humidity as it rains. Will turn to snow soon. NO NO NO NO.

Rain turning to snow is the worst – we had rain last weekend, then it snowed. I ended up slipping and sliding all over the place the next morning!

2. Katerina - December 17, 2010

So glad you liked it! More culinary school wisdom will be coming, I finish today.

Thanks, Katerina – the soup is just delightful! And – congratulations. 🙂

3. sjbraun - December 18, 2010

Yum – I’d like a bowl right now! I feel really bad – just tonight I realized that 3rd Thurs. was this week 😦 I promise I’ll be back in Jan.!

We did miss you, but I’m guessing you might have a bit on your plate right now. 😉


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