This week, expect to see several recipes from the great Ina Garten. My Barefoot Bloggers group is having a bonus recipe challenge, called "A Week with the Barefoot Contessa." We will blog a different recipe each day. I was very excited to take on this challenge. Partly because of how much I love her recipes, but also because I was able to try out some new ones that I might not have made otherwise.
However, this is not one that I would have ignored. In fact, I already had it on my menu for last week before the challenge was even announced! I really love baked potato soup, and this was a wonderful, more 'grown-up" version.
I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by leeks. Cleaning out the sand seemed scary to me for some reason. But I needn't have feared. It was no big deal, and I am now officially in love with leeks. Unless Mike Isabelle is preparing them to look like scallops (Top Chef, anyone?).
Other than halving the recipe, I made a few minor changes: I used russet potatoes because I had some on hand, subbed fat-free half and half for heavy cream, and used light sour cream instead of creme fraiche. I would like to say that those changes did not significantly affect the outcome. This soup was sooo good. Creamy, salty, comforting. And don't skip the crispy shallots. mmmm they are sweet, crunchy, and delicious! I actually just sauteed mine in a little butter and olive oil until they were starting to brown.
While I really loved this soup, I think it would be extra delicous to toss a few garlic cloves onto the sheet pan with the poatoes and leeks. I will probably try that next time.
Roasted Potato Leek Soup
adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics
serves 6 to 8
- 2 pounds yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, plus extra for serving
- 6 to 7 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
- Crispy shallots, optional
Toss the potatoes and leeks with olive oil, 1 teasppon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Lay in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Cook until very tender. Add the arugula and roast an additional 4-5 minutes, until wilted.
Remove the pan from the oven and place over two burners. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook over low heat, scraping up browned bits from the pan.
Working in batches, transfer the vegetables and pan juices to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add 5 cups of the chicken broth throughout the batches, and puree until the soup is mostly smooth, with a little texture, about 30 seconds.
Pour the puree into a large stockpot or dutch oven, and add enough of the remaining stock to make a thick soup. Add the half and half, creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine and check seasonings.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 Tablespoons of white wine and the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot with an extra grating of cheese and the crispy shallots.