We know that you have all heard of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. He actually could be a member of our family. We all love soup (at least almost everyone). Winter, Summer, it doesn’t matter. It could be 100 degrees out and we still enjoy it. If stranded on a dessert island and we had to pick one food item it would probably be soup.
Anyway the other day I made a Potato Leek Soup that was quite tasty and both Lauren and my mom gave it a thumbs up! Here are the basic ingredients. Like with all homemade soups you can mix and match all the components - leave something out, add something else, whatever, it will be delicious and better than anything you can buy.
Saute the following in a big pot with a bit of oil, or butter, or a combo of the two:
1 diced medium onion
1 diced celery stalk
1 small diced parsnip
½ diced turnip
2 diced carrots (we use the heirloom variety because we think they have more flavor)
2 – 3 large chopped leeks (carefully washed to get the gritty sand off)
4 – 5 small potatoes cut into chunks
2 grated mushrooms
While the veggies are sautéing, use another pan and combine:
2 Ts of flour and 2 Ts of butter and stir until a medium colored roux is created.
After the veggies have color (which means extra flavor) add either homemade veggie stock or 2 boxes along with a bay leaf, thyme and sage, salt and pepper and scrape the bottom of the pot to get the fond incorporated. Fond is the brown bits that are created from sautéing and the flavors are concentrated and shouldn’t be wasted.
Now is the time to add the roux and incorporate it into the broth.
After about an hour or longer if you prefer, use an emersion blender to make it into a delicious creamy soup. When you are ready to serve you can top each bowl with celery leaves, cilantro, shredded aged cheese, pumpkin seeds or croutons. If you like it extra creamy you can add a splash of half and half or heavy cream.
Note: Anytime you have veggies that are past their prime don’t throw them out, just take out a large pot and throw them into it. No chopping, no peeling, just add water and a few of your favorite spices and herbs to it. A potato, onion, carrot, turnip, parsnip, cabbage, garlic, celery, tomato, pepper any combination of those items if cooked for an hour or more will turn into the best broth. This can be eaten on it’s own or used for another savory recipe that calls for a liquid. You can also freeze it for use later.
Using those veggies will make you feel great that you didn’t waste food. Statistics, which are shocking, show that 94% of Americans throw away food, and the average family wastes around one-third of the food they buy. Overall the average American wastes 250 pounds of food a year, so we must all be more careful.