Tired of all this awful weather we're having here in MD? Me too.
My waistline isn't a fan either, as I have been cooking non-stop since the snow arrived on Friday. And with another 10"-100" (I keed, I keed) coming tonight, it doesn't look like I'm stopping anytime soon.
I've raided the fridge and pantry at The Kitchen Studio to come up with some Snowpocalypse-esque recipes for you to try. And understand this please: These are easy recipes. You should be able to make them with a few ingredients, or at least stuff you have in the fridge. And yes, I know that I probably have more stuff in my fridge than you do. Toughies. (That's what my mom would say :) Here's the first one I've been working on and what can I say? It's my son Ben's favorite. Hey - kid's got good taste!
Creamy Potato-Leek Soup:
- 4 or 5 medium Potatoes (Idaho or Golden, but not red skinned please)peeled and cubed (1" chunks)
- 6 cups (or 8 if you like) of chicken broth/stock
- a bunch or two of leeks (no leeks? to heck with it - just use some sweet onions, like Vidalias), green part removed, white part only
- a few tablespoons of butter (I'd say 1-3, depending on your fat tolerance. I happen to have a high fat tolerance)
- Some heavy cream, or a splash of milk, no more than 1/2 cup
Place a medium soup/stock pot and place over medium heat. Add butter and melt.
Wash your leeks really, really well under running water to get rid of all the grit (Fun leek fact: leeks are grown in sandy soil and often have tons of grit and dirt between their layers. Slice off the dark green part of the leek and discard. The light green part is okey-dokey and just fine to use. Slice the leek from the top down almost all the way to the root, but not quite. Rinse really well. This technique keeps 'em all together). If you're using regular old onions, slice them nice and thin, then proceed as directed. You'll want around a cup or so.
Slice the leeks into 1/4" - 1/2" slices then place in the pot. Stir to coat in the butter (yum!) and let cook, slowly, for about 10 minutes, or until they're nice and tender.
Pour your chicken broth/stock into the pot with the softened leeks, then toss in the peeled and cubed potatoes. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. (Why you ask? When ingredients reach the boiling point, they release their maximum flavor that can't be hit just with simmering them until they're dead. That's why so many recipes say to bring to a boil then reduce the heat right away. Aren't we learning something here today??)
Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are ten-der. Now comes the fun part...
If you have an immersion blender (also called a stick blender, or at TKS, the Whirling Stick of Death), you can stick it in the pot and start whirling under your soup is smooth. No immersion blender? Just smooth it out in batches with your regular blender, but don't forget to take out that little center piece in the lid and hold the top on with a towel. Blenders just looooooove to blow their tops when they're working with the hot stuff.
Add a splash of cream to enrich it (don't waste your time with skim milk, 'k?), and salt and pepper to perfection. That's it.
Don't have potatoes? Use carrots (mmmmms, carrot soup). Don't have chicken broth? Use veggie. Hate onions & leeks? Well, now I can't help you :) Just try this recipe, or this technique, or whatever you like. Just cook something, and get rid of those boxes of pre-packaged stuff. We're on a mission here.
Stay inside, stay warm, and cook something yummy.