Sweet Potato and Leek Soup
Well, it’s my first post for 2013. Can you BELIEVE it’s here already? How does this happen? I always heard people say the older you get the more time flies and it’s so true but I don’t understand it at all and I have to say I don’t much like it either! I need time to slow just ever so slightly. Is that too much to ask? I thought so.
This will be my first full year writing a blog. I started in September last year and the time has flown by. I’m preparing for it though. I got a huge year-at-a-glance calendar that’s great for long range planning and I’m setting out goals because this blog isn’t going to write itself.
So I’ve established a plan. I’m going to sit down and set out my goals for the year both personal and work related. Break down sub-goals from that to help me get there with a more clear vision and make deadlines for my subgoals. I think it’ll work and it gives me some specific direction. Everyone has a different plan but I think we all need one!
One of my softer goals is to develop even more original recipes. Dishes that can one day be passed down through the generations in my family. I’m really big on that…the passing down. My husband gets irritated with me because any time I get a new piece of jewelry I’m already planning who will get it when I die. Weird? I know. I want a recipe legacy of sorts to pass down to all the family that comes after me.
This Sweet Potato and Leek Soup is going to be part of that recipe legacy.
I didn’t have any recipe that I got information from or take any techniques from anything I saw online. This is entirely my own and I love it! I want more of that in the coming year.
In 2012 a few of the same type recipes were my Sweet Potato Apple and Gruyere Gratin and Purple Sticky Rice with Butternut Squash. No recipe adapted. Just inspiring ingredients like this amazing soup. Clearly sweet potatoes and leeks are the stars here but I used cream along with amazing chicken stock made from scratch. It’s not imperative but it does help you control the salt and other tastes in your finished product. I try to always have some put away. Here’s a great recipe.
Also, I bake my sweet potatoes in the oven. I like the way the sugar caramelizes and I think you get a better result. If you’re pushed for time you could microwave them but I recommend taking a little extra time when you can and bake them until they’re super soft.
When you’re using leeks in a recipe it’s super important to clean them properly. They aren’t difficult at all to clean but they’re grown in very sandy soil and I’ve never seen one that didn’t have dirt and grit on the inside. I’ll show you the steps.
Most recipes only call for the light green and white parts so that’s what we’ll talk about. Chop off the hard dark green ends and the hairy looking end like this.
Then I pulled away just a few pieces of the hard outer layer, sliced down the center and then dice into small pieces.
Fill a large bowl of cold water and add the diced leeks. Swirl and swish and rub the leeks making sure you get them apart and clean.
Lift the leeks out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel leaving the water in the bowl. Take a look…dirty, right?
Melt some butter and sauté the leeks for about five minutes or so.
Add some garlic and cook it, too. Then throw in some flour for a thickening agent. Once that cooks for a few minutes add some good chicken broth and your cooked sweet potatoes.
Give it a good mash and add in your cream and other ingredients. Let it simmer for a while so the flavors marry really well. At this point it’s completely delicious. If you like a chunky soup (it’s begun to get really soup like and doesn’t have very many large chunks at all) then you could easily leave it like this. I like a more blended soup so I grabbed my immersion blender to finish it off. If you don’t have one I suggest you grab one next time your out. They really aren’t very expensive and I bet you have a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon right now that’ll bring it down around $25. I use mine with nearly every soup among other things and it keeps me from having to move my soup into a blender. Totally up you though.
I finished it off with a dab of sour cream and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar although it was awesome right out of the pot!
- 4 cups baked sweet potatoes or about 2 large
- 1 1/2 cups leeks diced or about 1 large, light green and white parts only
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic, diced
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3-3 1/2 cups good chicken stock
- 1 cup cream
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- pinch of cayenne or to taste
- dollop of sour cream and balsamic vinegar, optional
- Lightly wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes at 400 until very tender when squeezed.
- Set aside and peel when cooled.
- Cut off hard dark green and opposite hairy ends of leek and discard. Peel away the outer pieces.
- Slice down the center and dice.
- Add to a large bowl of clean, cold water and rub to break all the pieces apart.
- With a slotted spoon strain the diced leek out of the water and then discard the water making sure not to pour the dirty water back over the diced leeks.
- Drain on a paper towel to dry.
- Melt better in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add diced leeks, salt and pepper to butter and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add flour and cook for 2 additional minutes stirring frequently being careful not to burn.
- Add in cooked sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cream, turmeric and cayenne.
- With a large wooden spoon or spatula, smash the sweet potatoes until broken up.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes on low.
- Using an immersion blender or stand blender, blend until smooth.
- Top with drizzled balsamic and sour cream.
Do you have a favorite soup recipe? It’s that time of year for me and this one is the first of many on my table when it’s cold outside. I hope you enjoy!