November 26, 2010

Sephardic Leek Soup (Sopa de Prasa)

Here in Houston, Texas it finally feels like the changing of seasons. It literally happened overnight. Yesterday while enjoying a backyard game of football I actually broke into a light sweat and the temperature was in the high 70's. This morning we wake up to rain and cold weather and temperatures in the low 40's. Shorts one day and sweaters and wool socks the next.

It was Black Friday today and I am not a fanatic for standing for hours in lines just to get a bargain. I'll suck it up and pay full price. The beauty of budgeting throughout the year. It was a pajama and movie day for my itty bitty and I. We stayed nice and warm in the comforts of our home. If you haven't seen it yet, Date Night is hilarious and gave me a good belly laugh. Perfect for well... a date night!

A craving hit today. It wasn't the usual brownies or chips and guacamole. It was a bowl of soup. Odd. I have never had a craving for soup before. I searched the Internet for a soup recipe containing leeks. I bought them for a recipe and ended up not making it. I had a bunch of leeks just sitting there and don't like to waste anything.

After chopping all of the leeks, potatoes, and carrots the leeks heavily outweighed the other two. The leek being in the onion family made me worried that the soup would have a strong onion flavor. To my knowledge I have never had leeks before and didn't know what to expect of the finished product. After the veggies sauteed for 10 minutes the herbs and broth were added, brought to a boil, and then simmered for 40 minutes.

The 40 minutes passed quickly since I had a toddler I had to calm down from his temper tantrum of asking if I was making chocolate cake to find out the answer was no. I made a Chocolate Sheet Cake with a Quick Caramel Frosting with Pecans at the beginning of this month and now every time I'm standing in the kitchen putting anything together he assumes it's chocolate cake. Sorry son. You're not that lucky! Trust me, he's not new to the workings of the house and knows that sweets are rare.

A nice big bowl of hot soup was ready. Bits of carrots and potatoes poked their way through the leeks. The aroma from the soup was not at all like that of onions. I took my spoon and dug in. The first bite reminded me of a cabbage soup instead. All of the flavors meld well together. The ingredients list is minimal and other veggies could be added to the pot depending on what you have on hand. The soup filled and warmed me up.

About.com
Makes 6 servings
Stars of the Show:

  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil - I used vegetable oil.
  • 10 leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, sliced and well washed - Make sure to pull those layers apart to get all of the grit out.
  • 2 large baking potatoes, cubed - I used petite red potatoes since that was what I had on hand and needed to use up.
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped - I used dried parsley.
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth - I used chicken broth.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper - The original recipe had a side note about how when making a white soup white pepper should be used but flavor-wise using black pepper here was recommended.
  • A pinch of nutmeg - Don't skip this! It was delicious with that hint of spice in it.
And Action:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek, potatoes, and carrots and saute until softened for about 5-10 minutes. Mine went for 8 minutes.

Add the parsley, broth, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 40 minutes. You can serve the soup as is like I did or put into a food processor. It can also be served chilled or warmed. Easy, easy, easy!

6 comments:

Evan @swEEts said...

Isn't it crazy how quickly the seasons change around here?! It was so nice earlier this week and now its freezing (for Texas that is!) I get soup cravings every now and again as well.. I think this would be the perfect remedy :)

Pretend Chef said...

Evan - I have to laugh when I think of the seasons for Texas, hot and hotter, haha! Whenever we go to Ohio we have to bust out our heavy coats and wool scarfs and such and then on our return trip home we start removing the layers and end up in t-shirts for what Texans consider cold weather. It's such a drastic change in weather. The soup was simple and delicious! Just ate some for leftovers.

Jeanette said...

This soup sounds light but comforting. I love leeks for soups and stir frys. They add a mild oniony flavor, without being over powering.

Pretend Chef said...

Jeanette - It fit the bill for the comforting effect I was looking for. I love leeks and am happy that I tried something new too! You are my inspiration for trying new foods.

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