Monday, October 10, 2011

Leeky Soup

As I mentioned, when I discussed our newest box of produce from Full Circle Farm in Christmas Every Monday, I've never used or, as far as I know, eaten leeks before.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them, but it was raining, the kids had colds, so everyone wanted something warming.  That called for soup.

I headed to the computer and found a recipe for Cheese and Leek Soup on  Since I'd been craving cheese soup, but we didn't have any sharp cheddar, this looked like an intriguing option.  Partway through making it, though, I noticed that this soup seemed to lack protein, and offer an overabundance of saturated fat.  Since this was meant to be our main dish, this was a problem.  I replaced much of the sour cream and part of the cream cheese with cottage cheese to work it back in a healthier direction.  We also added cauliflower and the broccolette, also from the farm box.  If we'd had shrimp, we probably would've added it, too.

Cream Cheese-Leek-Cauliflower-Broccoli Soup

While melting
6 oz butter
on the stove in a large, heavy pot over medium heat, mince
1 1/2 cups leeks, using the white part only*
1 1/2 cups sweet onion
1 cup celery
then add them to the butter to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, but not brown... About 10 minutes.

Pour in
4 1/2 cups chicken stock 
and simmer another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend in food processor
8 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese

Also, on stovetop or in microwave, steam 
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch broccoli or broccolette, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
These should be cooked, but still be a bit firm, and the broccoli should still be bright.

Using a hand blender in the pot, or by putting batches into a blender, puree the stock/leek soup.  (If using a blender, return blended soup to the large pot.)

Stir in the cheese-sour cream mixture into the soup, stir, and warm through, taking care not to boil.  (I had a hard time getting this to blend in nicely, so grabbed the hand blender, again, to help smooth it out.)

Add the steamed cauliflower and broccoli.  Also season with salt and pepper, to taste.  A dash of cayenne pepper is recommended (by my family), but optional.

*Leek Note:  All the instructions and recipes I could find say to use 'only the white part of the leek.'  Does this mean the part that is strictly and only white, or does the part that's faintly green, but more like onion and less like leaves count?  I couldn't bring myself to discard the light green part and used it.
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