Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: February 22, 2011

Potato-leek soup, cheddar cheese toasts, mixed green salad.

I made this beautifully simple soup last night while we watched college basketball.  The plan was to get home from work and heat it up--but I stayed too late at the office and I realized I'd need some help.  I called home for Josh.

I'm impressed:  He's been learning to cook just a little, most notably last weekend, when he made some very nice scrambled eggs.  So now he knows how to turn on the (gas) stove and regulate the flame.  He said he'd take care of it, no problem, and I hung up the phone.  Then I had the rest of my drive home to consider the possible outcomes:

A.  I enter the house to perfectly-warmed, fragrant soup.

B.  The soup spills all over the place on its way into the pot, and I enter the house to no dinner and a hysterically-crying ten-year-old helper.

C.  He turns on the gas but the igniter fails, the house fills with gas, I enter the house to find everyone suffocated, whereupon the house explodes and burns, taking the neighborhood with it.

I needn't have worried.  He did a great job (and Deanna supervised closely).  Delightful soup on a chilly night.

Potato-Leek Soup (adapted from David Lebovitz)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 leeks, white and light green part only, washed and sliced
several sprigs fresh thyme, a handful of fresh Italian parsley, and two bay leaves, tied into cheesecloth or wrapped in a paper coffee filter and tied with a string
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used klondike rose, and I bet yukon gold would be good)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the leeks.  Cook the leeks over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re completely soft and wilted.  Don't brown them.
3. Add the broth, water, cayenne, herb packet, and potatoes.
4. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife, about 30 minutes, depending on how small you cut the potatoes.
5.  Remove from heat, remove the herb packet and puree the soup (I used my trusty immersion blender).  Stir in the cream.  Taste and stir in salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.


  1. I'd like to have a Josh to heat up my dinner. Send him over!

    Looking forward to dinner with you guys soon. Preferably, some place exotic and interesting where neither of us has to cook.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


  2. Mmmm. I love a good potato leek soup so I'll try this one out soon. I'm impressed with Josh; glad the scrambled eggs are coming along!!!! XOXOXO

  3. I love your A, B, C scenarios and now I know where Josh gets it!!!!