Sunday
Mar072010

« Take A Leek »

ed and pepper sutton at MHUCC souper bowl sunday soup cookoff. they won the silver spoon award for the take a leek soupEd and Pepper Sutton, the chefsMy church had a soup cookoff today, the "Souper Bowl Sunday" event to raise money for one of the local charitable organizations we support. I submitted the following recipe after about a year of dabbling at home and it was adopted by the commission I am on, the Christian Education commission. A few of us in CE went to my jobsite and got some veggies and then headed back to church last night to make a few gallons of soup by hand. It was one of six entrants in the event. People voted by "cash in a basket" for whichever soup or presentation they liked, but really the winner was the group getting the donations. (We had a giant likeness of a rustic outhouse to play up the "take a leek" idea. Many groups sold their recipes for a buck each.) Nonetheless, our smoky Leek and Potato and Spinach soup came in second place and got the "Silver Spoon." The tortilla soup people won the golden spoon. It was a nice rainy day, perfect weather to drive a bunch of people to eat their share of gallons and gallons of soup! The tally I heard was $1,570—for soup! Whodathunkit?

Take A Leek soup

Vegetarian. Omnivore friendly if you use chicken broth or bacon. Home recipe yields about 3-4 quarts.

  • 2-3 Russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 leeks, cleaned, whites only
  • Your choice of 1 yellow onion, 1 bunch of green onions, or 2 shallots
  • 1 lb cleaned spinach
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (or Half and Half, cream cheese, etc.)
  • 1 quart broth
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley, minced or left whole in a cheesecloth for easy removal
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Optional:

  • For thinner texture add another quart of broth or more half and half. Thicker consistency makes more of a dip.
  • Bacon bits or ham if desired.
  • Experiment with herbs—dill, sage, etc.

Select leeks with lots of white, about 3"-4". Cut lengthwise into the core so you can peel apart and clean between the layers. Over a low flame, saute thinly sliced leeks, minced garlic and onions in butter and olive oil. Some browning adds additional character. Prepare potatoes by thinly slicing them and browning in a single layer in a wide oiled skillet over high flame. Combine leek/onion/garlic mix and potatoes into a large pot with broth. Add spinach and seasonings. Bring close to a boil then lower heat and let everything mingle for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add the cream soup (or other cream) and blend well using immersion blender. If using a regular blender, use a slotted ladle to remove most chunks, leaving some behind for texture. Recombine blended and unblended parts. Season to taste with pepper(s) and salt.

Yields about 2-3 quarts depending on how many broths or creams are used. Can be frozen. Serve with hearty, nutty bread or in a bread bowl. Yummy!

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