Last night I thought soup and a sandwich would be a pretty good supper. Generally, I'm not a soup man, but I had some vegetables I needed to use up before they went bad: Some leeks that I bought on a whim, never having eaten them or cooked them before, and some baby portobello mushrooms. I bought the leeks because I love onions, and decided that I'm going to try all the different kinds there are. I did a quick recipe of Allrecipes.com, and a common use for them seems to be as a companion to potatoes in soup. I frequently browse Allrecipes for ideas, but have found the recipes there to be of random quality. Beside, I already know how to make potato soup, so I set to cooking. Here's what I came up with:
Charles' Potato, Leek, and Mushroom Soup
4 largeish Yukon Gold potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
3 Leeks, dark green tops and root ends removed
12 Baby Belle Mushrooms
Chicken stock (low sodium)
Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
1 Tablespoon of Garam Masala (optional, but recommended)
1 can evaporated milk
1. Peel potatoes and slice thinly on a mandoline. Uniform size is important for even cooking time, thin is important for reducing cooking time. Place slices in a soup or stock time, add chicken broth to cover potatoes, plus an inch or two. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a low boil, stir occasionally to prevent potatoes on the bottom from burning. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
2. Slice leeks in half length-wise, then into thin half-moons. Slice mushrooms to your own liking. Heat a healthy table-spoon of oil in a skillet or saute-pan. Once the oil is hot, add leeks, mushrooms, minced garlic, garam masala, and sautee until tender.
3. When potatoes are soft, drain but retain the stock. Drain any remaining oil from the leeks and mushrooms, and add the leeks and mushrooms to the potatoes. Add the condensed milk, and retained stock to obtain desired consistency.
4. Bring back to a simmer, stirring occasionally, adjust seasoning to taste (I added a good healthy pinch of cayenne), and add stock if needed to maintain desired consistency (I like my potato soup to be on thick side, so I didn't add any more). Simmer 20-30 minutes (until you're happy that the flavors have properly married).
I seriously enjoyed this soup - so much so that I completely forgot about the grilled cheese sandwich I made to go with it and went back for a second bowl.