As I write this Z is waking up from possibly the shortest nap ever taken (other than when she doesn’t take a nap, then that’s the shortest, non-existent nap ever) and she’s screaming about cupcakes. It makes me smile to know that, while I really don’t want her screaming at the top of her lungs, at least it’s about cupcakes, that’s got to be sort of a good dream…right?
Anyway, my family has been without power since Friday night, and we were allowed back into our place, with electricity and heat restored yesterday afternoon. While that absolutely sucked, and there are only so many things you can do with your family without modern convieniences including showers and toilets, I’m not cut out to be a pioneer woman. Thankfully my parents live just about an hour away, and they had power (for most of the time we stayed with them). We were lucky, many were not. Most of our town has power back, with our downtown being fully restored this morning. It was a long slog, although other areas and other storms have done much worse, I’m glad the worst is over. So, sorry I didn’t post, I wasn’t really cooking. I was thinking of posting some of my activities, but I think most of them sounded exciting due to cabin fever more than actual excitement. So enjoy today’s post, it’s my first meal back home, a comforting, slow cooked meal that makes the whole house smell like garlicly-leek goodness.
This recipe is SO easy to do with kids. It has few ingredients, and lots of time with the blender.
What you’ll need:
2 medium-large leeks, trimmed and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
5 medium-small potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
First wash your leeks and potatoes well. People often neglect the washing of leeks, and this can leave you with a very, very gritty leek as they have lots of layers (think onion that you can actually clean). I find the best way to clean a leek, is to give it a quick wash under the faucet, trim it up, and then dunk in water. Have your kid help you with this. Next wash and peel your potatoes. Again, the washing part of this is a great way to involve your kid. I’ve also purchased a small peeler which I let Zara use
I think it was $3, and with careful supervision, it’s a really great tool that have with your kid helping out in the kitchen.
Next chop your leeks and add to a pan that has the oil AND butter in them. Salt and pepper a bit and give it a good stir. Cook these down for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from browning. Meanwhile, peel and mince garlic, add to the pot during the above 4 minutes. Now peel your potatoes. Then chop or dice per your preference. Most of this is going in the blender, so I cut them into about 1/2 inch pieces to allow them to cook faster. Add water and chicken stock, then add your potatoes. Let simmer on medium heat for 25 minutes or until potatoes are done (you can pierce with a fork and then slide off fork easily). Stir occasionally, about twice during the simmer time (Let your child do this with supervision).
Next, take a cup of the soup mixture and add to a blender. I happen to only have a really, really small Cuisinart, so I do this cup by cup, if you have a bigger capacity blender, add more, but remember that you want the mixture to puree, so the more you add the less likely it will puree evenly. Small batches is probably best. I do the whole soup bar 1 cup which I reserve because I like some chunky potatoes left. Do what you like. If you want a smooth soup, puree the whole. Salt and Pepper to taste.
Serve. I’m serving with a little dried oregano as it’s what I have on hand. Parsley, dried or fresh, would be lovely as well.
This is a very versatile soup and can be made completely vegan. You can also go the other direction and make more creamy by adding a little heavy cream at the end and some bacon pieces for a smokier flavor. I’ve been known to add some jalapeno to the mixture at times to give it a little kick.