Last night when Pete picked me up at the train station he told me that the woman who runs our CSA had called. She asked him if we could come over and talk to her about a few things that needed fixing up around the farm. She told him “Tell Taylor I’ve got some leeks for her!” Boy does she ever know how to make me come running.
I’m having a love affair with Leeks. I only discovered them a few years ago and this year I’ve really fallen for them. They have the mildest, creamiest onion flavor that I just adore and they are delicious in everything I’ve ever put them in- soups, casseroles, quiches. Really, they can be use anywhere an onion can be used. Bonus points for the fact that they are essentially the Welsh national vegetable, and I have a similar love affair with Wales.
So we came home from the farm last night a few leeks (and green tomatoes, Amish Paste tomatoes, and Acorn Squash) richer. I had a few potatoes from the farmer’s market in my pantry, a few carrots from the garden in my fridge that I needed to use, and a few pieces of leftover pot roast from this weekend that were too small to be used for much, so I thought a soup was in order. I just kind of made it up as I went along, and it turned out to be one of the best soups I’ve ever had. I did have the forethought to write down the ingredients, so here you go:
Ingredients: (And these are pretty fluid. I have a tendency to just toss things in without really measuring them, so read all of these with an “about” in the front of them)
2 Tbsp Butter (I used homemade)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (obviously not homemade)
2-3 Medium leeks, chopped- about 3 cups (from our CSA)
2 cups diced carrots (from our garden)
2 large cloves minced garlic (from the farmer’s market)
5 small potatoes, diced- about 4-5 cups (from the farmer’s market)
6 cups of liquid- any type of broth, stock or water (we used 4 cups of chicken stock that was left in our pantry from the past winter- but it was organic, I swear!- and 2.5 cups of beef stock. Except that it wasn’t really beef stock. I used the liquid from the pot roast we made and watered it down a little bit. It was extrememly rich, which probably accounts for how substantial the soup seemed)
1.5 cups of shredded left over roast, or any other type of meat (Now this wasn’t quite local, but it was certainly sustainably grown. It came from the cow my parents raised last year. I brought home the roast on the airplane last time I was in Alabama. And she was certainly free-range. Somehow she escaped the field she lived in and was missing for about two weeks. Daddy actually went to the police station to file a missing cow report! That the officer didn’t even blink should be an indication of how rural the town my parents live in is. One day she just showed back up- about 40 lbs lighter and with sticks and brambles all in her hair and tail. When they opened the gate to try and herd her back in, she ran gleefully back into the confines of the fence. I guess she was glad to be home.)
1 Tbsp floured butter (butter kneaded with about 2 Tbsp of flour)
1. Chop the leeks into small pieces. Dice the carrots.
2. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and butter until it begins to bubble over medium heat. Toss in the leeks and garlic. Saute, stiring frequently, until the leeks begin to wilt and brown slightly. Add the carrots and continue to saute about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking until potatoes begin to slightly soften, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Add liquids to the pot and bring to a heavy simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Once potatoes are soft, mash a few of them into the soup (I just smushed them against the side of the pot with the spoon).
5. Stir in beef to heat.
6. Add floured butter in pieces while stirring constantly. Bring soup back to a boil. This will thicken the broth. If you would like to thicken it further, dip a small about of broth into a seperate bowl and mix in 1-2 Tbsp of flour until it is disolved into the liquid. Add back to the soup pot. You can adjust this to your liking. Season to taste.
7. All Done! Enjoy!
I made enough that we were able to freeze most of it- about 10-12 cups, probably. I will be divine served over rice or quinoa, which will help stretch it. I was really pleased that we managed to make it almost totally from local ingredients (with the exception of the oil, chicken stock, flour, salt and pepper. And the beef if you’re being picky!)
If y’all find yourselves with some leeks, I hope you try the recipe out.
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