Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baked Potato meets Immersion Blender; muwahahaha!

I wish it was the soup I was enjoying on this snow day instead of just the memory of it...and the knowledge that my leftovers are in the fridge. At work.

I wasn't a soup-lover until a few years ago. They say your tastes are constantly changing as you age, so I guess I hit the soup phase in my life around 25. (Hubby's still waiting for me to hit the bell pepper phase. I think I skipped that.) But I'm not a minestrone or chicken noodle girl. I like soups that will fill me up and warm my soul. Something that feels like a meal but isn't so complicated that I'm too tired to eat it after its made. Also, being the bargain shopper/frugal/plain ol' cheap person I am, saffron broth soups are out, potato/chicken broth/other staple soups are in. And if it suggests the use of an immersion blender, you know I'm trying it.

With my requirement that soups not be too complicated or fancy-ingredient-filled but still be not-so-run-of-the-mill, it's not always easy to find something new to try. When I came across this Baked Potato Soup recipe on, I was more than ready to give it a try.

I just realized that you can't actually see the potatoes in that picture. They're there. I promise. I guess all but the sour cream and leeks are part of a "well-stocked pantry" but when your shoebox home doesn't have a pantry, you may need to buy the potatoes, vegetable broth and sour cream to create this soup. Bay leaves, butter, garlic, and salt also go in, but they don't take up much space. I'm pretty sure that's all I had on hand.
I think this is the first time I've cooked with leeks. I realized that the Food Network chefs weren't lying. There's a lot of dirt in between those layers!! So I sliced my leeks and let them sit in a colander sitting in a bowl of cold water to let the dirt rinse off. Just before starting to melt the butter, I gave the leeks a shimmy-shake (sorry. shameless Rach line) and let them drain til I was ready to saute' them.
I saute'd the leeks until they were soft (maybe 5 minutes?) and then added an entire clove of garlic with the top sliced off (and the loose papery skins peeled off), along with 5 cups of vegetable broth, 2 bay leaves, and a bit of salt. After that simmered away for 30 minutes, I added 2 and a half pounds of potatoes, diced. I left a bit of the skin on, but peeled them most of the way.

I circled the garlic bulb for ya
I brought that back up to a slow boil and let it go, partially covered (to allow for easy peeking!) for 15-20 minutes. Once the potatoes were easily pierced with a fork, I pulled out the garlic bulb and broke out the power tools. If you have room to store one, and it's not a pain to pull it out of its hiding spot, you could use a blender for this step, but an immersion blender is a)easier to store, b)easier to clean, and c)more fun to use.

I think I left about 1/2 of the potato pieces whole, the rest got blended.
 I added 1/3 cup of light sour cream and let it cook for another 2 minutes, or until I couldn't wait any longer. It doesn't look like much, but oooh boy! It's the perfect medium for anything you usually put on a baked potato. It's creamy, without being fatty or corn-starchy. It's hot, but not chicken-noodle-scalding hot. And best of all? Crumbled bacon, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese stay right where you want them when your (my) goal is to get a bite of each in each spoonful.

1 comment:

  1. changing taste buds. maybe bryan will one day eat mushrooms.