Monday, January 4, 2010

Curried Potato Leek Soup

This is a clash of cultures. A bit of curry and a poblano chili takes this leek potato soup across a couple of borders but it tastes really rich and creamy. Perfect for a cold day like today!

Curried Potato Leek Soup

4-5 medium russet potatoes
1 poblano chili
2 leeks
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups of chicken stock (use vegetable broth for vegetarian soup)
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup fat free half and half
salt and pepper

Cut the tips off leeks and cute lengthwise in half. Fill a large bowl or clean sink with water and rinse the leeks thoroughly. They hold a lot of dirt and this is the only way to get them clean. Shake the excess water off of them and cut into 1/4" pieces. In a small stock pot, melt butter and olive oil. Add leeks and sweat on medium-low heat until tender and wilted. Mince garlic and add it to the leeks as they cook. Chop potatoes into small cubes. You can peel them first if you want, I like the added texture (and vitamins) of the skin. Before adding the potatoes to the pot, salt and pepper the leeks and add the curry powder. Add potatoes and stir until everything is coated with the seasonings. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Either broil the poblano pepper turning every few minutes OR if you have a gas stove, place pepper directly on the flame to blacken also, turning every few minutes. When entire pepper is nice and soft and black, place inside a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will allow the pepper to steam itself and after it is cool, the black skin will peel easily off. Remove the top and the seeds. Cut half of the pepper into tiny little bites and add to the potatoes. Reserve the other half of pepper as garnish.

With an immersion blender blend potatoes into a thick creamy soup. If you do not have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender but add a bit of soup at a time and be careful of splatters, since the soup is hot. Add the fat free half and half. Garnish with diced poblano pepper and bacon or diced fried ham.

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