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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A warm winter treat...

It must be the Irish in me, but I absolutely love potatoes.  Ok, well I have no Irish in me, but that's further proof that I should.  I don't normally blog about non-Sweet Treat Saturday posts, but this was so yummy that I wanted to share.

I used four large russet potatoes for the soup.

Maybe it's the fact that it's winter, but I've been in the mood for some warm, hearty soups.  This past weekend I decided to act on that urge.  The only problem was that the weather was in the 70's, but that couldn't really stop me.  Smitten Kitchen had an irresistable sounding potato soup recipe, that also fit into my diet budget.  If my calculations are correct, it's only about 4 Weight Watchers points per serving (using light sour cream).  I just made a few changes to the recipe due to my own laziness/diet needs so I'm listing the revisions below.  

Potato Soup
By Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6

1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I didn't feel like using the whole garlic head per her recipe, but I'm sure it was delicious.  Maybe next time...)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small (Trader Joe's only had frozen chopped leeks so I used about a cup of them.
5 1/2 low-sodium vegetable broth (I didn't want it too thin but also, not too thick, so I went in between her measurements. Also used veggie broth as TJs didn't have a low sodium chicken broth in stock)
2 bay leaves
Salt (3/4 tsp and to taste)
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (that was about 4 potatoes for me)
1/3 cup (light) sour cream
Ground black pepper to taste

The below recipe is Smitten Kitchen's with my comments added to any changes I made.
In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook them until soft (but not brown), about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute.Add the broth, bay leaves and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. 

The leeks from Trader Joe's before mincing.

My vegetable broth was very orange in color but still delicious.

Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Mine actually took about 30 minutes until they were tender.  Next time I may cut them smaller.

Ready to simmer the potatoes.

Discard bay leaves.  Add sour cream to soup and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper to taste. Using immersion blender, process soup until chunky-creamy, leaving lots of potato texture intact. (Alternatively, transfer a portion of the potatoes and broth to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.) I did the latter method as I didn't have an immersion blender.  I blended most of the soup in my blender but made sure to leave a few chunks of potato deliciousness.

Blending the soup. Spoonfuls at a time.

Mixed the blended soup together and ready to serve.
Almost like sweet potato soup in color because of the vegetable broth.

Voila!  A little time consuming but very easy to make.  My soup was pretty orange due to the color of the vegetable broth.  I didn't really need to add anything though I imagine bacon bits and some cheese would have even made it more incredible.  It was perfect just the way it was though.  Definitely going to add to my 'make again' recipe pile.

Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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