Tag Archives: Stew

Leek and Potato Soup

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I love having people over, and chopping away on a Saturday after a day at the farmer’s market is a great way for me to get R&R. It’s mindless, and I had on NPR all afternoon. About six months ago I made a purchase on Gilt Groupe–it was a tour of the Alice WatersEdible Schoolyard in Berkeley. I’m interested in sustainable farming, gardening and of course cooking so I thought it would be an adventure. I got a signed copy of Alice Waters’ new cookbook In the Green Kitchen. The book is laden with simple easy to make recipes. I chose two for our small dinner party last night.

I made the potato-leek soup, my simple steak recipe, salad and berry cobbler for dessert. Let’s start with the potato leek soup. Leeks are in season, but I must have missed them at the Farmer’s market–I ended up picking them up at Trader Joe’s which I don’t recommend because they are three dollars a bag. French women appear to use them to lose weight, but I just think they taste wonderful. This makes about 6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 lbs leeks
3 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
6 cups chick stock
salt
Champagne or white wine vinegar (optional)
fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley or chives

Directions (as instructed by Alice Waters)

Prepare the leeks: Trim off the root ends and the tough upper green tops. Halve the white part of the leeks lengthwise and then, without cutting through the root end, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch-wide strips. [Don't worry too much about how you cut the leaves, because you will be blending them up eventually.] Wash the diced leeks thoroughly in a large basin of cold water. Once the dirt has settled, scoop them out with a sieve or strainer. Drain and set aside.

Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil or butter, followed by the leeks, thyme and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/4 inch dice or slices. Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for three to four minutes. Pour in the chicken stock season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Let the soup cool to room temperature, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Puree in a blender or using an immersion blender before serving.

Before serving, remove the bay leaf and reheat the soup over medium heat and taste again for salt. If you like add a splash of champagne or white wine vinegar to sharpen the flavors. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream before serving.

Ladle the soup into warm serving bowls. Finish with a few grinds of the peppermill, and garnish with chopped parsley or chives.

Indian Inspired Hot Lamb Stew

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Yes I eat lamb–it was one of the traits from New York that I didn’t leave behind. Red Meat. When I came to New York I was a vegetarian for six years.

Now that I’ve gone lamb I can never go back.. ;-]

Ingredients for Blake’s Indian Inspired Lamb Stew

Curry Powder (buy at your local Farmer’s market or Cost Plus)
Masala powder (buy at a local Indian Market or Cost Plus–goldmine for rare spices)
Paprika
Ginger
Coriander
Garlic Powder
Kosher Salt
Pepper
Two large flank steaks of lamb
shallots
garlic
olive oil or rosemary oil
Indian potato barata (bread)
Mango Chutney (Indian Market)
Raita (indian yogurt)
Veggies->cabbage, leeks, broccoli, kale, carrots and any other greens
Fingerling potatoes

Rice (preferably long grain)
Soy Vey

Pomegrante (optional)

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of these items. You don’t need every spice nor do you need every vegetable. Be creative. Spice as you go (and as you taste). I generally do things in spritzels (generous sprinklings) or teaspoons.

Direction-als

1. Wash lamb, cut off the bone, cut fat off.
2. Take onions and carmelize them in the garlic and the oil. When soft add chunks of meat.
3. Add curry powder, masala, garlic powder and pepper.
4. When brown add into heated crock-pot (high heat).
5. add all veggies (after washing, cutting into bite-size pieces).
6. Add all spices in generous amounts (no dumping but you know what I mean).
7. Cover the top of the crockpot and leave on high heat for a minimum of three hours.
8. Continue to check on stew making sure flavors are rich.
9. Boil rice. When cooked, add Paprika and Soy Vey for flavor (rice is bland on its own-in my high maintenance opinion).
10. Add pomegranate seeds to rice.
11. Top rice with lamb stew.
12. Add Raita and chutney (a dollop of each).
13. Toast Barata bread.

ENJOY! (mostly veggies, lean lamb and lots of spices makes this a guilt-free meal).

Please excuse this poorly iphone shot photo–my boyfriend thinks I need to add authentic pictures…I will get a better camera for you all ;-]
Hopefully the poor quality makes this look more DIY and adds value. Anyway good food should be a lil messy!