In honor of Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day, and the fact that I fancy myself the poor college student’s Martha Stewart, I hosted a mini dinner party for my Spring Break Wrightsville Beach Vacation Clan on St. Patrick’s Day.
(Click here to read more about our beach culinary adventures.)
You’re probably wondering why there are hamburger buns placed carefully next to baked brie and crackers. Well, no matter how refined I try to be, I’m still from North Carolina- therefore, my girlfriend’s contribution to our dinner party was a Carolina barbecue spread from Little Richards BBQ. If you’re interested in my further exploration into Carolina barbeque, check out last year’s Twin City RibFest Wrap-Up. Anyway, yes: instead of corned beef and cabbage, these Carolina girls (with our favorite California expat) enjoyed Lexington barbeque on St. Patrick’s Day.
(Oh, and by the way- YES, my cheese board is shaped like the outline of North Carolina. Haters gonna hate.)
As an accompaniment for the ever classy barbeque spread, I decided to make potato-leek soup. You know, so there could be at least a hint of Irish culture present at the table. I also made a Chocolate Guinness cake, which has since been turned into a Chocolate Guinness Cake Trifle with homemade whipped cream. Don’t worry, the recipe is coming later this week.
Anyway, today’s main event is potato-leek soup. My soup turned out finger-licking good, even if it did require some elbow grease (and, as usual, a life lesson or two).
(Adapted From Food For My Family)
Yield: 5 (more or less- depends upon how greedy you are) Servings
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or fingerlings
2 quarts of water
1/2 cup white wine
bunch of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
15 whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (go vegan, and this is totally optional)
1 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
2.In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 10 minutes until they soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.
3.Pour in the water. Add the green tops to the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. While the leeks are simmering, peel and dice the potatoes.
SIDENOTE: Aren’t these potatoes the cutest? Man, purity organic has some of the most aesthetically pleasing packaging on the market.
5. Remove the dark green tops from the leeks. Use them to make a small pouch to hold the thyme, peppercorns and bay leaves. Secure with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the simmering broth. Add the potatoes and the white wine and continue to simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
Ok, look: because I’m Jessamyn I decided to make this WAY more difficult than necessary. Basically, I decided that I shouldn’t let the absence of kitchen twine affect my chef skills. I decided to use toothpicks to hold my pouch together. In other words, what could have looked like this:
Looking more like this:
Whatever, it still turned out ok! But if you don’t have kitchen twine, just go to the store and buy some. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. And your bouquet garni won’t look quite so busted.
6. Remove leek stem pouch. Add the cream.
7. Blend the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to stockpot and heat to desired temperature before serving. Enjoy.
Since today is the first day of spring and central North Carolina is enjoying some baller warm weather, the number of soup recipes will probably thin out (I’M SO PUNNY HAHA) in favor of springy and summery recipes. Good-bye, chowder city. Hello, corn and strawberries.