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roasted potato leek soup

the return of football season instantly triggers the desire to make soup. alex and i play in a fantasy football league we have run for the last five years. it is something we look forward to doing together every year and gives us the excuse to block off sundays for football and cooking. brisk fall sundays, a heart warming soup and watching football with my honey - doesn't get more perfect than that!

i have a potato leek soup recipe that i adore but when i saw ina make this version i knew i would be adding a second potato leek soup to my recipe files.

the roasting of the potatoes and leeks adds a depth of flavor that is incredible. i added garlic to the recipe because potatoes and garlic go together in my world. when i first read the recipe the arugula puzzled me a bit but it adds a peppery flavor that is well matched with the soup. the creme fraiche adds a creamy quality to the soup that makes it like velvet. ina recommends serving it with crispy shallots and they are incredible. i did not believe that they would really take 40 minutes to make, but they really do. i have served it with and without them - both ways are wonderful.

roasted potato leek soup
adapted from barefoot contessa back to basics

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
5 cloves garlic - sliced in half
1/4 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 to 7 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces creme fraiche - the brand i buy comes in 7 oz container which works fine.
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Crispy Shallots, recipe follows, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

roasted potato leek soup

Combine the potatoes garlic and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times during cooking, until very tender. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Roast for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted. Remove the pan from the oven and place over 2 burners. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of the vegetable stock and cook over low heat, scraping up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.

roasted potato leek soup

In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding the pan liquid and about 4 - 5 cups of the vegetable stock to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they're all done and combined in the large pot. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup. Add the cream, creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.

roasted potato leek soup

Serve with parmesan, crispy shallots and/or homemade crutons. Finish it off with a drizzle of really good olive oil.

crispy shallots

 Crispy Shallots

1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings

 Crispy Shallots

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

 Crispy Shallots

Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. The temperature should stay below 260 degrees F. Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days.

Yield: about 1/2 cup


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