Saturday, November 22, 2008
The universe was taunting me yesterday.
I had to take my Environmental students outside to make some measurements at the forest buffer surrounding our stream to determine if it is sufficient.
It started snowing 5 minutes before my first section. Not a few small flakes, but full white out flurry. In Maryland. In November. When even my relatives back in the Northeast haven't really had snow yet. So we went out in the snow, slipped and slid and almost had a couple of kids in the water. Came back in, feet soaked, hair wet, and thoroughly chilled, and it instantly stopped snowing. Of course.
Then the sun comes out and all the fallen snow melts away. It's supposed to stay warmer. But when 7th period rolls around, it starts up again, even thicker than before. So shoes get sloshier, banks are slippier, and once again, as we walk inside, it stops snowing.
Well fine. If the universe is laughing at me I can laugh back. It's suceeded in chilling me to the bone. What it didn't count on is my secret weapon. A thick, creamy, heartwarming and oh so filling loaded potato soup. So hah! You may have won the battle, but you lost the war!
Loaded Golden Potato Leek Soup
4 slices thick cut hickory smoked bacon
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 leeks - white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2.5 - 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
8 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 parmesan rinds
1/2 cup eggnog (yes - eggnog! heavy cream would work too)
1/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese
Fry bacon in the bottom of a large stockpot until crisp. Remove and save for topping. Add butter to bacon fat, then saute leeks until soft. Add seasonings and potatoes, then stock. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves and rinds and simmer until potatoes are really soft and falling apart.
Remove bay leaves and rinds. Use a hand blender to blend to the desired consistency (I like it still a little chunky). Bring back to a simmer just long enough that it gets really thick. Remove from heat, stir in eggnog, sour cream and season to taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of bacon, cheese and scallions. Chase away the cold!