now, let me preface this post with the well-known fact that I love potatoes [which is odd, because potatoes themselves are quite… blah]. but, potato & leek soup on a cold windy day was hard to beat, until I met potato, leek, beer & cheddar soup. it’s creamy goodness melts in your mouth. so today, for no better reason then the enjoyment I get out of wearing a giant bib [anthropology calls them ‘aprons’?], I decided to go for it.
seattle is filled with delicious lunch picks. unfortunately, I spend monday through friday east of lake washington. thus, the eight dollar stale peanut butter and banana sandwich I can order for lunch at the local cafe is less than sub-par. as much as I love convenience, I don’t love it enough to repeat this mistake [ever].
despite Jet-Li and Kona’s desperate belief that I spend most sunday afternoons busy in the kitchen cooking them a weeks worth of food… I am actually just saving myself from the self-pity I endear when a busy workday sends me down the elevator to expensive mediocrity.
no meal is easier to prepare in advance for days of consumption than soup. that in mind, no one wants to eat the same soup 4 days in a row. amen to freezers. this soup happens to be both the opposite of Kona [low maintenance] and delicious enough to compete with repetition.
in the time it took me to make this soup, Kona’s accomplishments in comparison seem far superior [begging for food, taking a nap, and of course rummaging through the dirty clothes bin]. who knew female dogs also enjoy shopping [ahem, stealing]?
the spiced up cheese biscuit [inspired by my boyfriend, who douses most edibles in Tabasco sauce] dips perfectly in potato soup. serrano peppers bring a kicked up version of jalapenos to the table. these delectable little treats will not melt in your mouth, but they may melt your mouth [beware].
now, we’ve all made some pretty disastrous things. things we wish no one would have known about, seen, or in worst case scenarios… consumed. the official critics to modest cupboard are tough. and by tough, i mean if the dogs aren’t interested, something went terribly wrong. they stand by my side, support me when I’ve fallen, and keep me together through thick and thin. no seriously. right by my side, under my feet tripping me in the kitchen, leading up to the slow motion fall… and then proceed by attacking the thick biscuit batter off of my airborne spatula.
potato leek cheddar soup
3 russet potatoes
2 leeks (1lbs)
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
6 c chicken broth
8 oz sharp cheddar
1/2 c lager [optional]
1/2 tsp red pepper [optional]
wash, peel, and dice potatoes into 2” cubes. boil potatoes in 6 c chicken broth for 15 minutes in a stock pot. slice lengthwise and clean between the leeks leaves. after thoroughly cleaned, dice into 1/4” strips. while the potatoes are cooking, sauté 4 tablespoons of butter, one clove of minced garlic. add leeks. simmer for ten minutes. make a roux by slowly adding the ¼ cup of flour mixing constantly. transfer the leek roux to the potato broth. turn off heat. allow to cool slightly.
now, we want creamy soup. the easiest way to accomplish this it to blend the soup in batches in your food processor or blender. my preferred method is to blend the soup in the food processor briefly, and run through the food mill to ensure there are no hiding potato lumps.
return the soup to your dutch oven or stock pot. re-warm the soup on low. add grated sharp cheddar cheese to your soup, leaving a bit on the side to serve as a topper. add red pepper and beer as preferred.
serrano cheddar biscuits
3 c flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c milk
1/4 c corn grits
1 tsp salt
1/2 c cheddar cheese
3/4 c softened butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper
2 serrano peppers
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes [for the extra kick]
pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
blend flour, baking soda, salt red pepper, corn grits and sugar in your mixer or with a pastry cutter. cut in the butter and mix until lumps form with the dry ingredients. make a crater in the center of your mix and add the milk slowly. once blended, add ½ cup of cheddar cheese. once just blended, transfer to floured surface. knead in the thinly sliced serrano peppers and red pepper flakes as desired. pat or lightly roll the dough until ¾ inches thick. cut dough with a biscuit cutter, or just use a cup flipped upside down to about 2 ½ inches in diameter. place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet, and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. serve immediately after baking.