The first recipe that I tried, Roasted Potato Leek Soup, came from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics Cookbook. This soup got rave reviews from all who tasted it. I came home from work with energy enough to tackle this recipe and to learn that it took a bit longer than I had hoped. We had a very late dinner that night, but it was so worth the wait! Roasting the vegetables is critical to get the wonderful flavor in this soup. In fact, it makes the soup! The addition of the arugula gives the soup a very nicely peppery taste but not the least bit overwhelming....the roasted vegetables shined through with every bite! This really surpassed the quick and easy potato cheese soup that I normally make.
Making this was timely in that my mom had just had surgery and soup was what she was allowed and soup was the perfect meal for my mother-in-law, who has not been well. Both Grandmas enjoyed the dish! I would definitely make this soup again.
Roasted Potato Leek Soup
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
1/4 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
1/2 cup dry white wine, plus extra for serving
6 to 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces creme fraiche
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Crispy Shallots, see below, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times during cooking, until very tender.
Add the arugula and toss to combine. Roast for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted. Remove the pan from the oven and place over 2 burners. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook over low heat, scraping up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.
In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding the pan liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they're all done and combined in the large pot. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup. Add the cream, creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 tablespoons white wine and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Serve hot with an extra grating of Parmesan and crispy shallots, if using.
Crispy Shallotsnocoupons1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. The temperature should stay below 260 degrees F. Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days.
Yield: about 1/2 cup
Barefoot Bloggers are a group of cooks and bakers who enjoy Ina Garten and her recipes. As a group, Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) recipes are tested and retested. On the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month the Barefoot Bloggers post about their experiences preparing the recipes selected.