Jamie is back from Houston–the first one home for the holiday break! Kids coming home means its time to stock the fridge and pantry. Food 24-7! I decided to make a big pot of soup to chase away the winter chill that has settled in. One of Jamie’s favorites is Potato Leek Soup. Flavorful, filling and easy to make plus there are infinite ways you can tweak this soup. For this batch I added kohlrabi that not only sweetens the soup but gives it a slightly earthy finish. Think of kohlrabi as a cross between cabbage and broccoli. You can also change up the stock. I used chicken stock this time but you could use a vegetable stock, fish stock or clam juice and garnish it with crab meat for a “gussied up version”.
To keep up with the holiday cookie countdown, I made a savory cookie to go along with the soup. I found a Parmesan Rosemary and Thyme Shortbread on Savory Simple, adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. This savory bite starts out much like a shortbread cookie but takes a turn with the addition of herbs, salt, a generous grind of pepper and parmesan cheese. Variations include using different herbs, use all thyme, or add a dash of cayenne pepper or some lemon zest–infinite possibilities! The cheese adds a nice finishing crunch to the cookie giving it the snap of a cracker. This cookie not only goes well with soup but would be great on a cheese plate with a fig jam or pepper jelly as a foil. Another holiday winner. So for cookie number 7 Parmesan Herb Shortbread with Potato Leek Soup. Enjoy!
And for your listening pleasure as you enjoy a hot bowl of soup and shortbread crackers…I Love the Winter Weather sung by the incomparable Tony Bennett!
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 ounces grated Parmesan
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 leeks, rinsed, white part only, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 potatoes, diced
- 6-8 cups of stock (chicken, seafood, or water)
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup heavy cream or sour cream
- S&P to taste
- 2-3 kohlrabi peeled and diced or broccoli stems (from 1 bunch) peeled and diced
- lump crab meat or sautéed wild mushrooms for garnish
- pancetta or bacon, salute until crisp and reserved for garnish
- Cream butter in mixer until smooth. Add Parmesan, flour, salt, herbs* and pepper and combine until dough begins to clump. Do not over mix.
- *Experiment with different herbs. Decrease the amount of rosemary and increase thyme. Add grated lemon peel (1/2 tsp.) with rosemary.
- Add a dash of cayenne pepper
- Pour the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden or chill in fridge until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for approximately 22 minutes.
- Over medium heat, add 1 T oil + 1 T butter to 8 quart pot. Saute' onions until soft and transparent add garlic and saute' for additional minute. Add leeks, potatoes, kohlrabi if using, and stock. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmer. Partially cover pot and simmer until vegetables are completely soft, about 45 minutes.
- Using a hand blender or blender, puree soup until desired consistency. Completely smooth for a classic version or leave it a little chunky for a more rustic soup.
- Add cream heat to warm through (for a lighter version omit cream.)
- If soup is to thick, add broth to desired consistency
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with bacon, pancetta or chives and a dollop of creme fraiche' or crab meat if a seafood stock is used.