Monday, July 30, 2012

Leek, Garlic, and Sweet Potato Soup

Since the middle of May, we have not spent more than five consecutive nights at home.  At this point, we are up to 6,000 miles on my car, about 1,000 miles in rental cars, more than 3,000 air miles, and still have a number of trips to go.  It has been no surprise that cooking has been put on the back burner (haha...that was an attempt at a pun).  Slowly but surely, things are slowing down, we are spending a little more time at home, and time in the kitchen has resumed.

While in Seattle on the latest trip, we came across a TV network that does not exist in the Last Frontier--the Create TV network.  Holy cow.  Public television that focuses solely on cooking and home improvement without all the drama and typecasting of the reality shows (which I absolutely love)???--count me in!  While watching Essential Pepin one evening, he made five different soups in a half hour show.  All of them looked absolutely delicious and will certainly make an appearance here at some point.  The one that looked most exciting, however, was his garlic soup.  Am I worried about vampires?  No.  But the soup intrigued me--huge flavor, few ingredients.


Pepin used garlic, onion, and potatoes as the base of his soup.  We used garlic, leeks, and a sweet potato instead.  I am sure his soup was incredible and ours was absolutely fantastic!  We both kept commenting, "Ohmygoodnessthisisgood (eat a little more) holycowwhowouldhavethoughtthiswouldbesodelicious (take another bite) thismaybethebestsoupwehaveeverhad (etc.)."  So good.  It was the perfect combination of hearty and soupy, and 100% healthy.  The garlic was not overwhelming in the slightest and really just added another layer of flavor.  The leeks and the sweet potato added some earthiness and a little bit of texture.  We spiced it with sage, thyme, rosemary, and some chives and the result was magical.  We served it with our perfected (and soon to be updated on the blog) baked broccoli, which was delicious as a complement, but also delicious dipped in the soup. 

You have to make this.  Seriously.  One of the best meals I have had in a LONG time.





Garlic, Leek, and Sweet Potato Soup:
Inspired by Pepin's Garlic Soup 
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and diced
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 15ish cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 35 ounces (or so) of low sodium chicken broth
  • about a tablespoon each of dried chives, thyme, rosemary, and sage--certainly adjust to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • optional:  about a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water (to make the soup a little firmer)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the diced leeks and garlic.  
  2. Cook until the leeks and garlic are soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and the sweet potato.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to medium and allow to cook until the potatoes are soft.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and use and immersion blender until the soup reaches your desired consistency.  
  7. Add the spices.  Let cook for a minute or two.  Adjust for taste.
  8. If using, combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl and mix until it is completely liquid.  Add to the soup and mix to combine.
  9. Serve with veggies and/or use them as garnish.  
  10. ENJOY!

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