Category Archives: Soups & Stews

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

On a whim, I decided to make potato soup one cold night. I’d never even eaten potato soup before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. After searching for a bit, I came across the following recipe for Creamy Leek and Potato Soup by Emeril Lagassee on Food Network’s site. You can find the original recipe here, as I alter things a bit (because of allergies, I omit the cheese; because of preference, I omit the parsley).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (or less)
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp margarine
3 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts
1 tsp minced garlic
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of margarine over low heat.
2. Add sliced leeks and cook, stirring often, until they’re tender (about 3 minutes).
3. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add the chicken stock and potatoes.
5. Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes, unless you boil it rapidly like I do–then you’re looking at about 15-20 minutes).
6. Remove from heat and use a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until it’s smooth.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley or soft herbed cheese as an optional garnish.
8. Serve immediately, or reheat for later. Either way, it’s delicious.

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

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I didn’t think to take a picture until after I tasted the stew and found out how delicious it was.

I had a little pork loin and half a butternut squash to cook, so I turned to the Internet and found this great recipe. I had everything on hand except the fresh kale, so I used a one-pound bag of kale from my freezer. Next time, I’ll spend the extra time driving to the market for fresh, because the frozen kale made a crumbly mess. A crumbly, delicious mess.

This recipe from Oxmoor House was found on myrecipes.com, and I imagine it would taste great as a vegan stew, as well. I’ll have to try it without the pork sometime.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size 1 1/2 cups)
Cook time: 40 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups coarsely chopped fresh kale (about 1 pound)
5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pork, salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook 9 minutes or until pork is browned.
2. Remove pork from pan and set aside.
3. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
4. Add coriander and garlic. Sauté 1 minute.
5. Return pork to pan and add remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper, kale, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

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Here’s a pic just before step 6, with frozen kale. Please excuse my greasy stove; browning pork is messy work.

Turnip Green Soup

So. . . turnips. When I first purchased a CSA share, I learned that I like turnips. As a child, my few encounters involved some kind of canned monstrosity that masqueraded as turnip greens. In my mind, turnips were just as appetizing as pond scum (just as green, just as slimy). They were outright gross. The CSA share changed that. When I found myself the owner of pounds and pounds of turnips each week, I knew I had to learn how to cook them. . . and fast!

So the experiments began. I added the root to mashed potatoes with garlic. I tried baking sliced turnips with beets and other root vegetables with just a little olive oil and salt (not so great). I cooked turnip and potato patties, which were pretty tasty with ketchup. But the greens still gave me pause. This turnip green soup recipe changed my mind about eating greens. And while my entire family was skeptical at first, it’s now a favorite. Follow the link above, or try my much better, fresher version.

Note: The bitterness of turnip greens is still somewhat unpalatable to my sons, so I tone that down a bit with steps 1 and 2 below. However, this removes some of the calcium (the cause of the bitterness) from the greens.

Ingredients:

A big bunch of turnip greens
1/2 lb. soaked and cooked black-eyed peas (or two cans)
1/2 – 1 onion
2 potatoes, diced
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced or diced
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
6 cups chicken stock
Olive oil

1. Wash and de-stem enough fresh turnip greens to fill a stock pot. Cover with water and boil for a few minutes.

2. Pour the contents of the stock pot through a strainer and set greens aside.

3. Sauté onions and sausage in a little olive oil.

4. Add diced potatoes and continue cooking until they get a little color on them.

5. Add remaining ingredients.

6. Let simmer (or cook at a rapid boil, if you’re short on time) until potatoes are done.

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