Basil Infused Potato Leek Soup
It was one of those Saturdays when you have so much creative energy and not enough focus. I had gotten about 20% of around 10 different chores done, started writing a few new recipes to test, and decided to head out for some errands and get the ingredients I needed for the week ahead. About halfway home AFTER getting my groceries and what-not from the store, I realized I had forgotten a key ingredient, I stopped in at Stop + Shop, which is pretty usual for me. I tend to get angry there when leaving because I spend more there than at my local Whole Foods. I just don't know the store well enough, and end up confused and broke.
This time was different, I walked in and immediately was hit by a wall of basil in those giant plastic bins. Each of those plastic containers contain more than what you might chop off three of your own basil plants in your kitchen or backyard in one summer. Sometimes, innovation and inspiration is not planned, not outlined and makes you put away your original dinner plans and go with the flow.
I would say only about 80% of these "off the cuff" non-planned meals actually come out good the second time around when I try to replicate them for recipe writing. It's one of those things you realize becomes very necessary as a food blogger. Test your *($-*$&#* recipes. This one however I loved not just the first time, but the second time as well.
TIP: If you are considering food blogging in any capacity, test your recipes by making them in small batches. No one said you had to make a pitcher of margaritas to make sure the flavors are ok together, test, write then test again at the batch size you intend to write about.
Well after a long story about the very weird mind of a creative blogger I give you a twist on a favorite soup in my family. The cold version our "big girl lunch" growing up, and the warm and yummy version perfect for a cool spring evening's dinner.
BASIL INFUSED POTATO LEEK SOUP
serves 2 generously for dinner
- 2 shallots
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 leeks
- 1 russet potato
- 1 cup vegetables stock
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tbs butter
- giant handful of basil (around 2 cups)
optional for serving: crackers, chives and more basil.
Start by chopping your shallots and in a pan over medium heat add your olive oil. Add your shallots and cook for around five minutes.
While those are cooking clean and chop your leeks in even 1/2 inch slices. Make sure when cleaning leeks that you get all the dirt out of the layers, sometimes this means you need to rinse the chopped leeks to get all dirt. Peel the potato and chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Add the potato and leeks to the pan with the vegetable stock (try to use room temp here). Season the contents of the soup while cooking, never just at the end.
Let the contents in the pan cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Never ever let your potatoes over cook. You want just under done potatoes at this point, think pasta al dente.
Add the whole milk, bring to almost a boil (don't let it - if you see the edges start to create a foam you've hit the right temp). Reduce the heat just a little and keep stirring for about 5 minutes until milk really incorporates into the dish and soup.
This is where the recipe differs if you are doing a cold soup or a hot soup. If you are making a hot soup, you want to serve this right away as the basil will start to oxidize.
For HOT: Add the butter and basil and incorporate together with the soup for the time it takes for the butter to melt and mix into the soup all together. Either use a stand-up blender or immersion blender to create your soup. I like my hot soups a little chunkier than cold.
For COLD: Melt the butter into the soup and blend. Transfer to a bowl and cool. For your basil to not oxidize, incorporate once the soup has chilled.
To serve add some freshly chopped basil and chives and lovely seedy crackers to add a crunch.