Vegetables

Thanksgiving Greens

Posted in Vegetables on November 25th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Every year for probably as long as we’ve been a couple, Andrew and I went to the same friends for Thanksgiving. It was pretty much tradition, but this year they decided to go and move across the country. So left with no other choice, we had to start our own tradition at home, and invited the band. Andrew likes to cook the big holiday meals which is great because I’m not ready to tackle a turkey, and don’t plan to be either.

I admire anyone who can get up at an absurd hour to turn this:

into this:

I especially admire them as I sleep in and only have to make sure to be dressed before guests arrive.

For my part I did contribute some vegetables to the meal – mashed potatoes (of course) and newly discovered mustard greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

I have a feeling that any green leafy vegetable could be thrown into this recipe as those are pretty standard looking accompaniments.

Directions:

  • In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

Onions, doing their thing.

  • Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

It’s almost like a magic trick how these things cook down from overflowing a pan to a condensed blob. Unfortunately with Thanksgiving involving a lot of running around between guests and the kitchen, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. So instead I present an artist’s representation, in bad-MSPaint style.

Can you believe I cheated and used Photoshop? That plate is its own layer!

(I now promise to never do that again. Real pictures or no post. But it was funny in my head.)

Anyway mustard greens, I learned, live up to their name. Mustardy. Spicy, like you wouldn’t expect from an inconspicuous leafy vegetable. Unless you like to burn your mouth with vegetables I wouldn’t recommend this recipe as-is, however they could liven up a mixed-green type dish. Add some kale to start. All the trendy people are eating kale (and making bad MSPaint drawings.)

Asiago Mashed Potatoes

Posted in Potatoes, Vegetables on November 4th, 2011 by admin – 2 Comments

Okay here’s my sob story… First I know I’m going to lose a lot of sympathy when I say I hadn’t been to the dentist in over ten years. But I did go to the dentist and then my teeth started falling apart. I’m guessing they cleaned off all of the gunk I needed to keep holding them together. So with a painful broken tooth (which later stopped hurting more mysteriously than it started) I left the coffee shop early and looked ahead to a weekend eating mashed potatoes.

However, tragedy, I had no potatoes at home and for the same reasons I left the coffee shop early (er, mainly intense pain) I didn’t feel like grocery shopping on the way home. However, luck, I was parked right outside of a little organic grocery store that I’d never noticed before, ten minutes before closing, and acquired a bag of mini gold potatoes.

For reference, those are about 5 curious pink cat noses wide.

(I lie, I totally guessed that number.)

‘But I don’t want to search for some new mashed potato recipe,’ I whined to myself, ‘I just want plain old mashed potatoes.’ (Plain Old Mashed Potatoes, for the record, is garlic and sour cream with bacon bits on top) So I’ll write about when I tried to make asiago mashed potatoes instead.

Oh there’s that word ‘tried’ again. But it was good, I promise.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I like Yukon Gold)

Me too!

  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • 1 scallions, thinly sliced

I could start my own personal stock photography collection of things like ‘cut potatoes’.

Directions:

  • Cook potatoes in boiling wate….

Okay we already know this part. Cook, mash, etc. Actually no etc., that comes next.

  • Add the warmed milk, sour cream, butter, salt, white pepper, and garlic, mixing well
  • Sprinkle in the shredded cheese and scallions, stirring until cheese starts to melt and incorporate.

Somewhere in here is where the “tried” happened…

It seemed like a lot of milk but I trusted the recipe and got a pot of potato slush. So I turned to what I call the Unhelpful Internet. How to fix runny mashed potatoes? “Don’t add to much milk.” Right… I’ll get right in my cooking time machine and add less milk.

Other suggestions were to add more potatoes (which I would have figured out on my own if I had more potatoes to cook) and to add instant mashed potato flakes – something I consider potato blasphemy, but I might have to start keeping on hand because I’ve seen them as an emergency fix for a number of cooking problems.

The best suggestion I found was also the one I was already doing, leaving it on the stove to try to boil it down.

It’s not a mashed masterpiece, but I’ll still take it over instant.

Anyway looking at the recipe again I realize what the problem is – I had scaled down the 6 servings to 3, and the recipe recalculated the 3/4 cup of milk to be… 1/2 cup. Some faulty math but the original recipe is still good. Whoever wrote the code though, I know no one wants to figure out 3/8 of a cup (that’s 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons) but there’s no excuse for recipe-ruining rounding.

Broccoli Leek Quiche with Garlic Crust

Posted in Eggs, Vegetables on May 13th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

It feels pretty good to get a comment, “you know you are a good cook when you can put random things together and make a meal”, even if it’s “just” from your mom. Of course it’s easy to look good when you only show off the meals that worked out. I hadn’t yet found a good opportunity to show off why dill and Swiss sandwiches aren’t a good idea.

Or more recently, my attempt to make Andrew’s yummy yellow rice (cooked with turmeric and butter) which came out nearly more orange than the spice itself.

Turns out a tablespoon is more than overkill… I should have asked first.

So I did it again (the good way, not the dill-and-cheese way). I’ve been wanting to make a quiche so I can have some freezable food to leave at work as backup lunches. I don’t know where leeks came into my head from but I’m guessing from the same place that made me spontaneously say out loud, “I wonder if you can put garlic in pie crust.”

I was a little nervous trying to figure out how much garlic to use. While I normally believe you can never have too much garlic in practically anything, I didn’t want to ruin an entire quiche if pie crust turned out to be the exception to ‘practically’. I used four cloves, blended in the food processor with the flour and butter. Well I don’t like it when recipes list garlic by number of cloves, because if you buy your garlic in bulbs the cloves vary drastically in size from the outside in, so I used this many:

I became much more confident while rolling out the dough when I kept thinking, ‘where is that wonderful garlic smell coming from?’ and then realizing it was my crust. Garlic and butter is already the ultimate combination – how could I have expected this to go wrong? Then I hit up Google expecting to find out that my unique idea was not so unique after all, but there was nothing on a search for “garlic pie crust” that didn’t just happen to have garlic and pie in the same vicinity. Let it be known that garlic pie crust is MINE!

After learning about vodka pie crust (now vodka-garlic?) I was looking forward to that easy to work with, stretchy dough I remembered from before. The thing with pie crust is that you can’t get cocky with it, it knows. My dough still tore, but until I start trying to win beauty contests all I care about is getting the crust in the pan in something resembling one piece.

I learned from the mini-quiche experiment why you are supposed to pre-bake the crust, so that it’s solid enough to hold in the liquid you’re going to pour in next. 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Now the tear is much more obvious.

For the filling, first I knew I wanted broccoli. With fresh broccoli and no measurement to go by, I was kind of proud of this idea I came up with – I just took out the second pie pan and filled it with chopped broccoli until it looked right.

I felt like it needed more but had to remember that there was going to be other stuff going into this too.

Then I chopped up the white and greenish-white part of two small leeks, and the other half onion from the previous day’s “omelet”.

The broccoli I steamed for 10-ish minutes. Luckily I wasn’t in a hurry for it yet, since the steamer is still a functional timer when it’s not plugged in. That ‘ding’ does not tell you that anything has cooked, only that time has passed without you noticing the lack of steam! The onions and leeks I sauteed in some olive oil.

I’m pretty sure there’s a rule against sauteeing in too small of a pan, even if it’s because your bigger pan is in the dishwasher. I’ve tended to find that the world does not explode, or the kitchen implode, when you break some rules as long as you can say you had a good reason. (And even laziness is a good reason if you’re willing to admit to it.)

For the eggy part I’m still going off my original recipe, which looks like:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons margarine

I wanted to leave out the margarine but I wasn’t sure how much, if any, affect it has on the taste so I cut it back to one tablespoon. I also nearly learned through experience that margarine has the same exploding tendency in the microwave as butter

  • A sprinkle of kosher salt (I’ve been converted away from table salt as much as possible for cooking.)
  • A sprinkle of black pepper
  • A sprinkle of white pepper

And oops… too much pepper. The white pepper “sprinkled’ harder than I expected out of its container. Well you can’t un-pepper a quiche but you can add more – another egg and 1/3 cup of milk – perfectly peppered.

Everything except the broccoli, which I layered on the pie crust, on top of a layer of shredded cheese, went into the quiche mix bowl, including the rest of the diced ham from the previously mentioned “omelet” and more shredded cheese. I didn’t measure the cheese since I never end up following the amount given in the recipe to begin with. Then I poured it all on top of the broccoli.

Obligatory naked quiche picture.

I baked at 350 for way longer than any recipe says – around an hour by the end. I have trouble getting my middle to solidify and I think it may be too much milk. Next time four eggs and forget the extra milk.


This was a huge success as far as great tasting quiche… and a total failure as far as having backup food for work. The whole thing was gone in two days, ultimately feeding three people.

One-egg omelet

Posted in Eggs, Vegetables on May 8th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

My cupcakes and frosting combo left only one sad little egg in the carton for me to use.

Technically I don’t think anything made with one egg could be called an omelet (unless it was an extremely tiny one) but given my skill with omelets, I’m just jumping ahead to the final result. I didn’t want to call it a “scramble” because that sounds like something off the menu at Denny’s but perhaps a “kitchen scavenge” would be an appropriate name.

Scavenged:

  • 1 egg
  • Shredded potato
  • Cubed ham
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped green onions
  • Baby spinach, stems picked off and hand-torn
  • Sprouts
  • Parmesan cheese

The potato I shredded with a cheese grater, and patted dry with a paper towel out of instinct. Turns out my instinct was right and the starch should be rinsed off and potatoes as dry as possible to make good hash browns – which this wasn’t exactly but a good place to start – so I went back and did a full rinse and dry.

Next I heated some olive oil in a pan began the guessing game of order to cook ingredients.

First the potatoes, then the onions, garlic, and then a handful of diced ham. Technically the ham doesn’t need to be cooked, just heated, but I love how ham tastes after it’s been re-cooked.

Spinach and green onions, just long enough to cook the spinach.

Then to justify the “omelet” title, I pushed everything to one side and let the egg solidify a bit before mixing it all together.

The sprouts went on last, and a handful of Parmesan cheese.

The only thing missing… cheeeese. I know I put Parmesan on but I couldn’t taste it, and I’ve too long associated scrambled eggs and omelets with melty cheddar cheese that I had to sneak back and shred some cheese and microwave for a few seconds. I know that kills the calorie count but look at all those good veggies in there to make up for it!

Parsley potatoes

Posted in Potatoes on April 18th, 2011 by admin – 2 Comments

People who read my blog often tell me, “You eat a lot of fish.”

And what they mean is, “You write a lot about fish.”

Both are true – I love fish so I cook it often and therefore have plenty to write about. (Actually every time we go to a decently fancy restaurant Andrew will open the menu and say, “I know what you’re ordering” as soon as he sees the salmon.)

I’m afraid next there’s going to be comments on my frequency of mashed potatoes, so I’m sitting here thinking, ‘Do you really want to write yet another mashed potato post? Right after a fish and potatoes post even?’ ‘Yes, yes you do,’ I tell myself, ‘because that’s one more recipe tab that can be bookmarked and put away when it’s done.’

This was just another boring, everyday, I-have-too-many-of-this-ingredient-to-use-up recipe search, in this case parsley, hence Parsley Potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds new red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

I turned out to have exactly the one and a half pound of potatoes, mixed red and Yukon, also on their last days and needing to be used up or thrown out.

Directions:

  • Peel a strip of skin from around the center of each potato, place the potatoes in cold water. Set aside.

I honestly have no idea what this part is about…

I also realized this isn’t actually a mashed potato recipe, which is what I had my heart set on that night, but mashed potatoes are the scrambled eggs of potatoes. You practically have to go out of your way not to make them.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Pour in broth and 3/4 cup of the parsley; mix well. Bring to a boil.

  • Place the potatoes into a large pot full of salted water. Bring the water to a boil; then reduce heat. Simmer covered, for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Well I know how to make mashed potatoes so I pretty much ignored the recipe from this point on… but why were we supposed set them aside in cold water first in the original recipe?

They’re kind of pretty with their mixed colors, so I’ll pretend it was intentional. I had to go ahead and peel these since they were so far on the sprouty, rough-skinned side. Once they were cooked I mashed the whole deal together.

Actually it used up a lot less parsley than I was hoping. Parsley is a “fluffy” herb when fresh and a cup isn’t as much as it seems.

Yes that is my mango-sake sauce in the background, this time on halibut. I did say I’d be making it again as soon as I bought more sake, which turned out to be the next day. I’ll probably keep going until I’ve tried mango-sake sauce on every type of white fish I can find.

Lessons in Tapioca

Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Mango, Taro on April 8th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with tapioca this week. Mangos too of course, oh yes the mangos are coming, but first it was taro.

Looking for a way to use up that leftover coconut milk, I found Taro coconut milk with tapioca off of a blog with a really great name. Following her process all too well, I also ended up with a gelatinous blob of my first (and only) try, although looking back she said “solid block” so I’m thinking perhaps ‘gelatinous blob’ is just the natural state of cooked tapioca.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup mini tapioca pearls
  • 600g (about one med) taro
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar

I cut this way way back to use up half a can of coconut milk, the end of a box of instant tapioca, and while I have some baby taro I originally planned to use, I went ahead and finished off the bag of frozen taro pieces I had in the freezer too.

Gelatinous tapioca blob and the coconut milk-taro didn’t want to mix so well but I could tell this would be a good one if done correctly. Apparently I wasn’t expecting much from the start because I didn’t bother to take pictures.

It did however set me off on a mission to find real tapioca pearls, whatever they might be. Hers were green. I ended up with a multicolor bag, because given the choice between plain old white and colorful I had to go with the colors. Actually given the choice between a package that gave some kind of cooking directions and one that didn’t I’d go with the former but it wasn’t an option.

Just… tapioca.

I had to use the cooking directions from the recipe instead, this time Mango Coconut Tapioca Pudding.

Ingredients:

Tapioca

  • 1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

DIrections:

  • Soak the tapioca pearls in about 1 cup of water for about two hours.

  • Then bring another cup of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the sugar to the water and stir until completely dissolved. Then drain the tapioca pearls thoroughly and add to the boiling water. Immediately turn the heat down to low.

It continues with stirring and covering for 20 minutes to keep cooking but my tapioca was pretty much cooked at the time it went into the pot. Into the fridge to cool, as instructed.

Mango puree

  • 8 ounces mango flesh
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Put all the ingredients for the mango purée into a blender and pulse until they are completely blended. Refrigerate the mango purée.

The immersion blender has become one of those how-did-I-live-without-this items. This went into the freezer to hurry things along.

  • Add the mango purée to the tapioca pearls when chilled and mix thoroughly to make the pudding.

See, out of the fridge, gelatinous blob, and I followed the instructions.

It wasn’t breaking up so well here either so the only solution I could see was to get a bigger bowl where I could mix more vigorously.

Now that’s starting to look like something.

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 6 raspberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 8 ounces fresh mango flesh

Of course I wasn’t going to go out and buy all these fruits and berries just for my little experiment, but I did happen to have strawberries. I even rolled my eyes at myself for cubing my last mango for a pretty picture.

But a pretty picture it did make.

Now is probably a strange time to admit that my only experience with tapioca before this has been in bubble tea, so I don’t even know what this is supposed to taste like. I offered Andrew a taste first and he didn’t like it. I found that eating it with the garnish, especially the cubed mango, made it pretty good, but not so much on its own.

My biggest complaint it that it’s too sweet. If I was to make it again I’d leave the sugar out of the mango puree – the sugar in the tapioca and the natural sugar in the fruit should be enough. Then I would have plenty of fresh fruit for a topping, enough to last the whole bowl, not as a “garnish”. Finally, I would remember that there are raspberries in the freezer which could have made for an even prettier picture.

Blue Cheese Asparagus

Posted in Asparagus, Vegetables on March 16th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

My simple dinner plans were some pre-seasoned pork chops from QFC, Mexicano flavored. I love these but can’t recreate the seasoning on my own so I’m stuck buying them whenever I see them for sale. I just throw them under the broiler, so to use up the leftover asparagus from the Pi Day quiche I went looking for an asparagus recipe I could broil at the same time.

My end recipe was very loosely based off of California Asparagus with Blue Cheese
and Pine Nuts
which looked to be a a restaurant menu item but actually is some kind of official asparagus web site’s menu suggestion. When I saw ’24 servings’ I though I’d have to cut this thing way back, but the ‘Per order’ starts “arrange 3 asparagus spears on a serving plate.” Three!

Ingredients:

  • Asparagus, trimmed and blanched
  • Finely chopped shallot
  • Red or white wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Firm blue cheese
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I do have a bad habit of overcooking my vegetables, but since mine were being double cooked I was able to limit myself to blanching for 30 seconds, about the time the asparagus started to smell green.

I had a high shallot to asparagus ratio because I tend to mistakenly hold back on them, afraid of overdoing it.

I used the red wine vinegar option, mostly because between the two that’s the one that gets the least used in our kitchen. I cut back 1/3 cup of each the vinegar and olive oil to 1/4, and then cut that back slightly to under the lip of the measuring cup. I mixed all that together and spooned over the asparagus which fit perfectly on my little broiler pan.

I was hoping we still had pine nuts left over from the pesto because there was no way I was paying over $7 for that itty bitty bag. We didn’t, so I chopped some walnuts since they’re supposed to be a pine nut replacement in pesto itself, and sprinkled on top.

It was looking pretty at this point so I took a picture prematurely, afraid that adding the blue cheese would ruin the look. It didn’t.

I threw this into the oven with the pork chops and cooked until the chops were done.

I added some more cheese at the end as well. Yummy.


…until Andrew ruined it by asking if I had anything I wanted to fry. He’s been playing with his own beer batter for fish and had leftovers. I had more raw asparagus left and thought, wouldn’t that be tempura? My first tempura. Beer batter tempura.

Tell yourself you want the light oilve-oil drizzled, fancy vegetables all you want but once you have them deep-fried in batter you’re ruined for life… or at least the rest of the evening. In the end I threw in another handful of asparagus, some broccoli, and a single brussel sprout just to see if you could. I’ve managed to find a new favorite way to eat vegetables that’s even unhealthier than covering them in cheese.

Pesto mashed potatoes

Posted in Garden, Pesto, Potatoes, Vegetables on March 3rd, 2011 by admin – 3 Comments

Pesto night came upon us again and this time I was able to take a picture of the aftermath.

For some reason when I get an idea, I have to Google it to validate it… and then become disappointed that I’m not the first to think of it. Things like ‘I wonder if you can make pesto mashed potatoes.’

Yes you can, and it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect, doesn’t need a recipe. I certainly didn’t follow Rachel Ray’s recipe, which explicitly says “1 cup prepared store bought pesto”. (Andrew says she doesn’t cook, she assembles things.)

Coincidentally I did use the red potatoes in her recipe.

I almost feel like this should be saved for a token St. Patrick’s Day post because this looks like such the typical “let’s take a normal food and turn it green for the holiday”.

I didn’t do anything special except add a bit of milk to make it mash easier so it tastes… exactly like pesto and mashed potatoes would taste, if they happened to be mixed together, instead of sitting next to each other. Nothing special, but not bad if you really need a new idea for all that pesto.

Open-faced breakfast burrito

Posted in Breakfast, Eggs, Potatoes on February 20th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

I kept wandering around the kitchen complaining to myself that there was nothing to eat since we were due for a grocery shopping trip. Of course “nothing” doesn’t mean nothing but I didn’t want more pasta, more toast, more cereal, more noodles… “But you know better now,” I told myself, “You should be able to MacGyver a meal out of this kitchen.”

My starting point ended up being a package of roasted garlic chicken sausage that I originally picked up for some future chicken gumbo but have no immediate plans to make. I’m not normally a sausage person (same issue I have with bacon, the visible fattiness and texture) but chicken sausage is relatively safe and if you add garlic to the description I’m sold.

I started by dicing one of my little Yukon potatoes into little pieces (not trusting how easily potatoes would cook in a pan, I wanted them small) and started frying in a bit of olive oil. While those were cooking I also chopped up a bit of onion and added to the pan when the potatoes were about halfway cooked. Then at the end, some chopped garlic, so it wouldn’t overcook.

This was set aside and then in the same pan, I scrambled an egg with the chicken sausage, also cut into small pieces.

Gotta admit that looks kinda gross… eggs are pretty freaky if you think about them too much.

Then I mixed everything back in the pan and added some shredded Mexican cheese mix.

Andrew had moved the tortillas to the other side of the counter, so for a minute I was afraid I was ultimately making myself a big bowl of breakfast “burrito” mix. Determined now to keep this a one-pan recipe, I tried to slide the tortilla underneath to be simultaneously warmed and assembled.

At this point it didn’t look like it was going to be willing to roll up for me in anyway so I scooped it onto a plate using two spatulas and ate with a fork. Andrew called it a “breakfast tostada” but I already had my name picked out, and a very messy pan.

Chef Studboy’s Potato Leek Soup

Posted in Potatoes, Soup on February 10th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

I had what will probably be the highlight of my blogging career a while back, when an actual chef looked at my site and then gave me a recipe off of my wishlist from out of his head.

Chef Studboy:

Yes he’s a chef in real life too.

Like most recipes I meant to cut this one in half, although it didn’t work out that way in the end.

about 2 cups of Mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion diced)

Interesting, there’s a word for that stuff.

and about 4 cups of leeks, this will be a decent sized batch

Having never cooked with leeks before, I didn’t know if you were supposed to use the whole thing, or just the white or green. Consensus on the internet was the white part, or one that made the most sense to me, the white and pale green.

Some warnings for others who haven’t used leeks before:

1. You’d think those huge things would be plenty but when cutting off the leaves I only got a little over a cup out of each one.

2. They’re quite dirty inside. Understandable for something that grows in the dirt, but make sure to wash each layer carefully.

3. It’s hard to spin a leek if you don’t have cartoon hands.

sear off some bacon, and set it aside. chop it up when it’s dried and cooled, and save the grease
cook off the mirepoix and 2 cups of the leeks in the grease, until it’s all clear

At this point we talked about bacon for a bit. I’m probably the only non-vegetarian who shies away from bacon – I like the taste but I can’t deal with the visible fat. So he came up with the idea to add the bacon before the soup was blended, to keep the flavor, and skip the grease part.

Following the potato soup recipe, I cooked the veggies in some melted butter instead.

then, add about a quart of chicken stock
cook off about 8 potatoes in that mixture, until the potatoes are done
also, cook off a few potatoes on the side in water and save them

I’m pretty sure my proportions got thrown off even more at this point. I thought I had more than enough leeks and potatoes when I started, and this could have been doubled easily.

once the potatoes are cooked in the stock, completely blend everything
turn it into all liquid

When I first planned recipes like this I didn’t have an actual blender, so I intended to use my smoothie maker to do it in batches and then hope someone would feel sorry for my patheticness and buy me one for Christmas. When I found out I was getting the immersion blender as a gift I just put it off until I could use the real thing instead.

Action shot!

then, add the chopped bacon and dice up the cooked potatoes
finally, sautee the remaining leeks in a little garlic, then add all of that to the pot
the potatoes in the stock will thicken the soup naturally
and voila, Potato Leek soup

The first problem is it’s been so long since I had that amazing potato leek soup that made me want to learn to begin with, I forgot what it’s supposed to taste like. Or look like – orange? My soup was rather orange.

The second problem was a lack of solids. I should have had more potatoes, and cut the pieces into smaller pieces instead of pretending I was making mashed potatoes since that seems to be what I know how to do best.

However,

you can add cream to it as well if you like, if it’s too thick, or you want a smoother soup
actually, with the numbers I gave you I would add a bit of cream, maybe 2 cups

“A bit” and “2 cups” seem like pretty drastically different amounts to me but I went and added somewhere between “a bit” and a cup. The cream really made it.. well, good, but I hate to think how much I killed the illusion of this being a healthy soup.