11.20.2008

Soup + Bread = Winter Soul Food

Carbomb is back with some more kitchen adventures! This week, creamy tater soup and home made bread. Wow!

Jeff and I went to the Trader Joe's as we do every other week or so to stock up on the essentials and they had packages of trimmed leeks, which I had never seen before. Leeks are delicious but kind of unwieldy and a pain in the ass to clean so this seemed like the perfect time to pick up some pre-cleaned leeks and make a potato leek soup.

I'd been sitting on a recipe from a fantastic chick named Abbey. Jeff and I went to Detroit for Columbus Day weekend (one of my top 10 favorite holidays) and one late night after many beers, Abbey wrote down her recipe for bread. It's a basic but key recipe and she threw a whole bunch of herbs she had recently harvested from her garden and it was super savory. So I figured, cold, icky Chicago night, a missed episode of Lost and some 30 Rocks to watch, let's get cooking.

HERB BREAD
1. Combine 1 packet of yeast, 1 cup of bread/all-purpose flour, 1 coup of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of applesauce (I used some homemade apple butter I made after an apple picking extravaganza), 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons salt in a bowl.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup of hot water and work into a nice ball.
3. If you want to go the herb route, before you mix the wet and dry bunches together, get some basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, dill - whatever you like, chop roughly and throw in a food processor just until the greens are broken into tiny pieces. Then just work the herbs into the the dough.
4. Leave the dough alone for 40 minutes to rise.
5. Open a bottle of wine and watch Lost.

LOST BREAK!

6. After 40 minutes punch down the bread, lop it into an oiled 9x5 bread pan and let it rise for 30 more minutes.
7. Perhaps play some parcheesi or bones and pre-heat your oven to 450.
8. After that lump is all full of air, bake for 10 minutes at 450 and then lower the heat to 350 for another 30 minutes.

THE SOUP!:
1. Into a large pot put 6 potatoes (peeled and cut into large pieces), 4 of the leeks (if Trader Joe's hasn't cleaned them for you, soak in salt water to remove grit) halved, 3 stalks of celery you've chopped up, 1 medium quartered onion, a bay leaf and 2 quarts of veggie stock.



2. Get that cooking and let it boil until the potatoes are soft.
3. Chop up 4 more leeks and mix 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter together to make a roux.
4. After the potatoes are soft, toss in the rest of the leeks, the roux, 1 cup of milk/half n half/cream, a handful of thyme and whatever other herbs you have lying around from the bread and salt and pepper.
5. Let that work for a while to let the new leeks soften a bit. When things look creamy and good, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. If your blender is as crappy as mine, it will take approximately that long to get the thing up and running.
6. After the soup has cooled a bit, blend that mix together until smooth, I had to do mine in batches. After it's all creamy, throw the bay leaf back in and put it back on the heat for 20 minutes.
7. At the end, I added some Parmesan cheese to give it a bit of a kick, some chopped chives and pepper.

It was delicious and there are plenty of leftovers, which we like for nights we don't have 2 hours to cook. If you do not like leftovers, just cut the soup recipe in half. But who doesn't like leftovers?

Bread dough looks a lot like brains. muh hahahahaha

Fresh Herb Bread

1 comment:

dapeen said...

looks damn good c-money. When are you dropping off the leftovers? I'm just up the street.