Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roasted Leek and Potato Soup with Arugula

I love this recipe that I found on Farmgirl Fare's website, which she credits to Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients. I have made it twice now, each with variation from the original recipe. I think the second time was even better than the first!
2 pounds potatoes (about 5 cups), peeled and cut into 3/4" dice (I used Yukon Gold the first time and Russet potatoes the second, and prefer the Yukon Gold potatoes)
1 pound chopped leeks (about 5½ cups), white and light green parts, cleaned well
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
4 cups baby or wild arugula, lightly packed (I used a little extra)
4 to 5 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups since I like it thicker)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (I used a little more cheese the first time and I would probably up this amount again when I make it next)
1 more teaspoon kosher salt
More fresh black pepper
Optional garnishes:
Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Snipped fresh chives
A Dollop of Sour Cream
Crumbled crisp bacon

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Combine the potatoes and leeks in a large bowl; add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Place in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until they're very tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Then add the arugula and toss to combine, then roast for about 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place it in a crockpot. Stir in 2 cups of the chicken stock and cook over low heat for a few minutes, scraping up any dark and crispy roasted bits that are stuck to the pan. Stir in 2½ more cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of heavy cream, the Pecorino Romano, another teaspoon of salt, and several more grinds of fresh pepper. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, adding more chicken stock if it's too thick. Cook over low heat until hot, check the seasonings, and serve, garnished as desired.


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