One of the bonuses of making soups is you can make them at any time, refrigerate, freeze, photograph, eat ….. whenever. Some food doesn’t freeze well, or even refrigerate well (Pasta a la Carbonara for example), but a soup? Often better even after it’s sat in the fridge until the next day.
One things that often frustrates me as a mother is that my desire to cook up a storm doesn’t always match the cravings of the people in my house. My daughter usually asks me for soup on a brutally hot day, when the last thing I want to do is cook. Or I’m happily making recipe after recipe and, well, my son is playing basketball, my husband “isn’t hungry” and my daughter is over at her friend’s house. In the past, I have given many a food item away, only to be told the next day by a family member “why did you give that away? I would have eaten it today!”
Ug. Mom’s can’t win.
Yesterday was one of those days. Husband is napping. Teenagers are running around the neighborhood. And yet, I’m in the mood for soup. So I took a few of my favorite things and played around and came up with this. It’s not shockingly inventive, but it’s solidly good, and tastes even better today.
How convenient, considering it’s meatless Monday.
Ever make your own croutons? Instead of ditching that old loaf of bread, pita, whatever, freeze it and the next time you’ve made soup, make your own croutons too. Years ago, one of Martha Stewart’s recipes called for pita croutons, and to this day, they’re my favorite. Just cut slices of the pita, toss some salt (and rosemary if you desire, like I do) on them, and fry them in a little olive oil until crunchy. Yum.
You can feel good about this because it’s dairy free too. I put a butter option in there instead of the olive oil in case somebody doesn’t care and has to have a little butter in their soup (because sometimes you just need the butter).
Hope this warms you up today.
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or 1/4 cup butter)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 leeks, sliced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 TAB thyme
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic, leeks, and jalapeno, and saute for another ten minutes or so. Add potatoes, spices, and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool about 15 minutes before transferring to a blender. (Don’t fill the blender up more than 3/4 of the way or have the soup too hot, or it’ll blow the top off). Repeat until all liquid is creamy. Return to pot and rewarm.
Serve with grated cheese, croutons, or refrigerate or freeze.