Hello 2016! I hope you guys had a fun and relaxing holiday. The East coast was warmer than the West Coast and there were days that I spent outside in shorts. I even heard that it might have snowed in San Francisco for a few minutes (not sure about this) but the way things have been I wouldn't be surprised. We visited Monticello and took a tour of Thomas Jefferson's plantation, it's worth the trip if you haven't been there.
The oddest thing happened after we got home. There are potatoes growing in my backyard! I never planted them and I can only assume that the previous owners had something to do with that. Unfortunately, they were too small for me to use so I'll have to wait a little longer before I'll get to cook them. Potatoes are comfort food at its best and if paired well, in soups they are delicious! Leeks and potatoes are perhaps one of the best combinations that exist in savory heaven. This leek and potato soup, takes full advantage of these amazing ingredients along with a couple of other special spices. A dash of turmeric and coriander in this potato and leek soup along with a sautéed topping of thinly sliced leeks and nigella seeds. To make the soup as smooth as possible, I used my "KitchenAid Torrent blender. The high horsepower of this blender helps to grind all the ingredients in the soup to a smooth and creamy consistency. Plus, there's a soup setting which makes life much easier and takes a lot of the guesswork out.
The three spices add three different levels of flavor to the leek and potatoes in the soup. Coriander imparts a smoky flavor while turmeric brightens the taste and color of the soup. The leeks get a delicious nutty flavor from the tiny black nigella seeds as they are sautéed in the ghee/oil. This is my Indian-inspired take on this classic dish!!
Here are some of my kitchen notes that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- Note that I have not given a specific amount of salt and pepper in this recipe. If you use a low sodium/salt stock then you will need to season the soup a little more. Start with less and then adjust the amount as needed.
- Use floury potatoes over waxy potatoes when making this soup. Diced potatoes cook faster than larger pieces which will also cut down your cooking time.
- When you blend the soup, you need a blender that's powerful and KitchenAid's magnetic Torrent blender is perfect! You will get a creamy soup that has a silky texture.
3 spice leek and potato soup
yields: 4 servings
4 tablespoons ghee/extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 2 whole leeks)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, whole
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
300 gm potatoes, peeled and diced into 0.5" cubes
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and pepper to season (see notes above)
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon nigella seeds, whole
1. Heat two tablespoons of the ghee/oil in a medium-sized stockpot on medium-heat. When the ghee/oil is hot, add 2 cups of the sliced leeks and cook them until they just start to get lightly browned. This should take about 4 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander and chili pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the potatoes and cook for 60 seconds. Stir in the stock and then increase the heat to high. Bring the contents of the stockpot to a rolling boil and reduce the heat to a low. Cook until the potatoes are tender and soft about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from stove.
2. Carefully, transfer the contents of the stockpot to the blender and pulse on the soup setting until the program is complete. The soup will be smooth in texture once the cycle is completed. Alternatively, pulse until completely smooth. Transfer the soup back to the stockpot and allow to simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
3. To prepare the topping for the soup, heat heat the remaining two tablespoons of ghee/olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan and sauté the leeks with the salt for about 5 to 6 minutes until they turn golden brown. Add the nigella seeds and cook for 1 minute. Top each serving of hot soup with a generous amount of the sautéed leeks and nigella and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Disclaimer: A big thank you to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.