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Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup

November 1, 2010

by Elizabeth

If you couldn’t tell, we’ve been a little busy around our Deux Maisons. Unfortunately, we have these things called “real jobs” that tend to get in the way of blogging, and they’ve been interfering on an unprecedented scale lately. It’s kind of hard to cook in a hotel room or entertain from our desks.

Wednesday night I finally had the chance to cook for the first time in what seemed like weeks. I had broccoli and potatoes in the house that needed to be eaten asap, far too many to eat in one night. This little recipe danced off the pages of Food & Wine and was the perfect solution to my vegetable plethora. I just needed leeks, so I decided to stop at Central Market on my way home from work, grab some leeks, and make dinner before yoga class. And then, CRASH.

Yes, some bozo slammed into me on 75 and ruined my soup making plans. (I’m fine, poor 4 Runner is not). My dad happened to call while I was pulled over on the shoulder waiting for the police, and he asked what had happened – “I was going to buy LEEEEEEKS! All I wanted to do was make sooouuup!” I whined shrieked cried.

After a full day of an aching back and haggling with insurance claims agents, on Thursday night I really, really wanted my soup. I needed something soothing and warm that I could make quickly so I could go to bed assoonasphysicallypossibly. I successfully made it to Central Market without incident, whipped the soup together in 45 minutes, and 30 minutes later I was full and comforted enough to fall asleep. Or maybe that was the muscle relaxant…whatever, I’m convinced the soup was just what I needed.

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup

adapted from Food and Wine

4 tablespoons butter

4 cups red or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 pounds)

3 cups broccoli florets, chopped (1 large head broccoli)

2 cups leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced (about 2)

2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

3 cups water

1 Parmesan rind (optional)

1 cup milk (I used 2%, you could use half & half for a more decadent soup)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

salt and ground white pepper to taste

1 slice pancetta (about 3 ounces), diced

1 tablespoon chopped sage

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (preferably homemade, if not use panko)

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the vegetables and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in the stock and water, add the Parmesan rind, and bring to a simmer. Let bubble for about 10 minutes, until all of the vegetables are cooked through. Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. (Alternately, purée in batches in a blender.) Add the milk and cheese, and then season to taste. I found it needed a heavy dose of salt and pepper – possibly because I used homemade stock which had no salt in it. Keep warm.

In a small skillet, cook the pancetta until almost browned. Add the sage and breadcrumbs and fry until the pancetta is fully cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden. Remove from heat.

Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish each with about 2 tablespoons of the pancetta bread crumbs. Sprinkle on a little Parmesan too for good measure.* Serves 4-6.

*a note about the garnish. I’m a big fan of garnishes on soups…without the breadcrumbs or bacon, this soup could have been a little boring. With them, it’s fantastic. The pancetta adds just the right amount of depth.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 9:41 am

    This soup sounds healthy and delicious. I think my family will love it.
    Thanks for sharing!

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