Leek and Potato Soup
March 31, 2011

Even though it’s officially spring, some of these days just haven’t heard the news. But never mind, this soup will warm your cockles. I made it in my sister-in-law’s kitchen and it fed five and a half (Ivy) of us with enough left over for a jar to give to a flu-y friend. I was quite distracted by the familial hullabaloo while I made it but it forgave my lapses of attention and turned out beautifully.

you will need:
5 or 6 large leeks, trimmed of their root end and almost all of their green tops
2 medium sized yellow onions
2 1/2 tbsp butter or olive oil or a combination
1 tbsp thyme (I only had dried on hand)
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp red chili flakes
S & P (always always fresh ground P)
6 medium spuds (I used red skinned, yellow fleshed)
5 cups of chicken or veggie stock warm or at room temperature
2 cups of water (okay, I’m really just guessing about that – you’ll have to judge)

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Rinse these very well in a colander while you heat the butter and/or oil in a big soup pot. Add the leeks to the pot and chop the onions mediumly (spell check loves that one). Dry your tears and toss the onions in the pot. Stir these about from time to time with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat. Add the spices now that you’re thinking of it, because you’re procrastinating about peeling potatoes.

Ask father-in-law to wash and peel potatoes. Cut these into a large dice and plop them in the pot. Stir this all around a bit, add the stock and water, cover and go play.

When the potatoes are nice and soft the soup is done. Some in the family like a chunkier soup so I just gave it a slight massage with a potato masher, but you could certainly employ an immersion blender here. Some milk or cream (<1 cup) would also be lovely.

soup-boop-e-doop

get well soop

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Beef Stew How To
March 8, 2011

Normally I would dredge the beef in a bit of seasoned flour and brown it, but the interesting aromas that waft through the halls around here notwithstanding, I didn’t think it would be very neighborly to smoke up the hallways with eau de meat before 9 am. I’m thoughtful that way, I guess.

So, no dredging, but this stew was excellent; the meat tender and delicious and the grated potato near the end does the thickening that the flour would have otherwise.

The three of us had this for supper over buttered egg noodles and we have half in the freezer.

So into the slow cooker:
1 – 1/2 lbs (500g) cubed beef
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large tin plum tomatoes, juice and all, broken up a bit
1 cup beef or veggie stock, water or dark beer
5 or six dashes each of worshestershire sauce and hot sauce
1 scant tbsp. dried thyme
the same of oregano
and 3 or 4 bay leaves (best if you can use a combination of dried and fresh herbs, but if you’re doing so, wait and put the fresh in towards the end)
a good grind of pepper

I left the cooker on low and we went out for the day:

Paulo

When we got back all I did was was taste and correct the seasonings, and grated in 1 peeled potato.

And that’s it. It was warm and comforting and delicious.

Easy as pie. Easier.

Beef stew story post

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