Tag Archives: soup

The Best Potato-Leek Soup (I’ve) Ever Tasted- A Continuation of Spring Break Culinary Adventures

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.)

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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. Smile

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).

Potato-Leek Soup

(Adapted From Food For My Family)

Yield: 5 (more or less- depends upon how greedy you are) Servings

Ingredients:

3 leeks
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

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1.Remove the root end of the leeks and cut off the dark green tops. Retain the green tops. Slice the white and light green portion of the leeks thinly.

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.

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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.

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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:

foodformyfamily bouqet garni

Ended up:

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Looking more like this:

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….um. yeah.

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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.

NOMNOMNOM.

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. Smile

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Feminist Coming Out Day, and the BEST Curried Lentil Soup Recipe

So I’ve been absent. Horribly absent. But I have an excuse, I SWEAR! Ok, it’s just the ‘I-was-too-busy-to-blog-wah-wah’ excuse you’ve heard already. However, on the bright side, today was the last day of winter term classes- just a few more assignments, and it’ll be SPRING BREAK LIVIN’ Y’ALL.

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Ok, that’s definitely not what my break is going to look like. It’s going to look a little more like a constant date with this:

cleaning products

Seriously, my apartment is begging for a deep clean.

In the mean time, in honor of International Women’s Day and Feminist Coming Out Day, I need to write a letter to the two people who birthed this woman. If you get grossed out by excessive sentimentality, feel free to skip ahead.

Dear Tangela and Jesse,

It would be impossible for me to give thanks for everything you’ve done that’s made my life possible. However, at the age of 23, I realize there’s one thing for which I am most grateful, and for which I must attempt to give thanks:

Thank you for not limiting my definition of happiness.

You allowed me to be myself, and in doing so left the world at my disposal for interpretation. I have never felt as though there is only one version of happiness- I never felt that if I didn’t get married, have children, or pursue a specific career that I would be less than what you wanted me to be.

This freedom of interpretation has allowed me to have several painless awakenings over the year- not the least of which include my sexual neutrality, fat positivity, and (at times) radical feminism.

You did what every parent should do, but what seems to be extraordinarily difficult. Your ability to forgo your own versions of happiness in favor of my own personal exploration means more to me than words can ever say.

Love,

Jessamyn

ANYWAY,

last week I made the most DELICIOUS curried lentil soup. Because I’ve been living under a rock since last Friday, this recipe (and the corresponding photographs) have been living in the Jessamyn archives. Let them be liberated!

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Curried Lentil Soup

Yield: 8 servings (time to bust out the tupperware, y’all)

Ingredients:

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup dry couscous
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

8 oz mushrooms

Combine lentils, onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic, cumin, and broth in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover loosely and cook until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.
Stir in couscous, , curry powder, and black pepper. Continue cooking until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

This recipe is hella simple. However, the secret to perfect lentils (whether they are in a soup or served plain), is a three step process:

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1. Carefully look them through for rocks, dirt clumps, mishapen dark beans, or any other non-tasty items.

2. Rinse your lentils.

3. SOAK SOAK SOAK. For at least 15 minutes, but you can let them sit for hours. My favorite thing to do is look them over, rinse, and let them soak in a bowl full of water for an entire day before cooking. The lentils will absorb lots of water, and they will be super soft and creamy as a result. Trust me, if you want to have perfect lentils, you will not skip this step.

Seriously: NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM.

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BY THE WAY:

Um, guess what I found at The Dollar Tree?

frozen berries

Yeah, that’s right: frozen berries. They had a variety: strawberries, peaches, blueberries, etc. I got peaches and blueberries. I was really just shocked by the refrigerated and frozen food sections in the DOLLAR STORE, but that’s probably just me and my bourgeois attitude. Apparently this is old news- however, I was still really excited.

Also, how is it that The Dollar Tree has extensive online shopping options, and Michaels Arts and Crafts barely has a store locator? I am just filled with questions today….

Happy Feminist Coming Out Day, Y’all!

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