Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Creamy Leek Soup with a Hint of Blue Cheese
Have you ever wondered what to do with leeks? I have. If you do a quick search for leek recipes, the most popular one seems to be leek and potato soup. These two ingredients work great together, however I made this soup the evening my husband and I were having a cook-off for our anniversary. For my meal I made peppered crusted steak with a blue cheese sauce, oven baked potato chips and then this soup. Since I was already have the chips, I really didn't want potatoes in my soup too.
Leeks belong to the same vegetable family (Allium vegetables) as onion and garlic. They also contain many of the same nutritional benefits of the other vegetables in this family, however they are much more subtle in their flavor and can make a great addition to a variety of dishes where you don't want an over powering onion type flavor. This soup also has the extra added benefit of chicken stock or broth and is perfect for fall when we begin to want those extra nourishing, hot foods.
Because I was in a blue cheese type of mood the evening I made my dishes, I tossed some in to my soup too. Actually, the first time I made the soup I crumbled the cheese into it after I had dished it into the bowl. This way the soup wasn't flavored with blue cheese, but instead you could get little chunks of blue cheese occasionally with your bite of soup. The second time I made the soup, I add the cheese to the soup while it was still in the pot and stirred it in until it was completely melted. This was great and every bite of soup has a wonderful hint of blue cheese flavor.
If you aren't used to using leeks, to prepare them, remove the outer tough leaves. Cut of the roots at the base and then slice thinly up to the green leaves.
What You'll Need: Makes 2 large bowls or up to 4 small bowls (about 1 cup of soup each)
• 4 tbsp. organic butter
• 2 large leeks or approx. 5 cups of thinly sliced leeks (reserve a couple of slices of
leeks to garnish soup with at the end)
• 3 cups homemade chicken broth or stock
• 2 oz. or approx. a heaping 1/4 cup of blue cheese
• Sea salt
• Fresh ground black pepper
1. In a medium size pot, melt your butter over medium-low heat. Add your thinly sliced leeks and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. You want your leeks to be soft, but not golden.
2. Add your broth to the pot and turn your heat up to about medium and allow mixture to gently simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Blend leeks and broth with a submersion blender until smooth or pour into a blender, being careful to not burn yourself. Then stir in crumbled blue cheese until it's completely melted. Alternatively, like I wrote above, you can wait to add the blue cheese until you serve the soup and not have it completely melted.
4. Season with salt and a little bit of fresh ground pepper and garnish with a a couple slices of leek. Serve immediately. If you have guests and you haven't added the blue cheese yet, you could put a bowl of the cheese on the table and allow the guests to add their own. Try the soup both ways, adding the cheese to the pot or adding the cheese to the bowl, and see what you like better.