This soup is a take on traditional Potato Leek Soup. I use ham stock instead of chicken, because it’s flavor complements the potatoes and cream so nicely. The buttermilk adds a tanginess that makes this soup stand out from other versions in complexity. For a vegetarian version, simply substitute vegetable stock in place of the meat stock. Potato Leek Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 3 Leeks (white and pale green parts only), rinsed, halved, and sliced 3-4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 2 large Potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly 1 quart Ham Stock (Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock may be substituted.) 1 Bay Leaf 1/4 tsp. dried Lemon Thyme (Use regular Thyme, if Lemon is not available) 1/2 tsp. ground White Pepper 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1 cup Buttermilk Salt to taste Instructions: Melt Butter in skillet or large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add Leeks and caramelize, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until soft, sweet, and translucent. (The goal here is to cook over a low enough heat that the Leeks and Butter do not brown/discolor.) While Leeks are caramelizing, bring Stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Add sliced Potatoes, Bay Leaf, Thyme, White Pepper, and Nutmeg. Reduce heat to simmer. Add caramelized Leeks. Allow soup to simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and falling apart when mixed. Remove soup from heat and Salt to taste. Add Cream and Buttermilk. Use immersion blender to mix and liquefy. Serve hot with a fresh crust of buttered bread.
Many years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this recipe, and I have never made another butternut squash soup since. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It will fill you up and keep you toasty in this chilly weather, and it freezes well, too, in case you want to save some for a rainy day! Creamy Butternut Squash Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 8 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Onion, diced 4 cloves Garlic, minced 3-4 tbsp. Oil of Choice 4-5 lbs. Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed 3 Carrots, diced 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced 6 cups Chicken Stock (Vegetable Stock may be substituted for vegetarian version.) 2 tbsp. Honey 2 (8 oz.) packages Cream Cheese, cubed Salt and Pepper to taste 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder dash of Nutmeg Instructions: In a stock pot over medium heat, sauté Onions and Garlic in Oil until translucent. Add Squash, Carrots, and Apple. Mix together and cook covered until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add Stock, Honey, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Nutmeg. Let mixture simmer until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 20-30 minutes. Use immersion blender to blend all ingredients in the pot. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend the soup in batches in a regular blender.) Add cream cheese and stir until melted and evenly mixed. Use immersion blender one more time, if necessary. Voila! Enjoy your soup hot, with whatever toppings suit your fancy–roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sour Cream, fresh or dried Herbs, another sprinkling of Chili Powder, etc. with some fresh bread alongside! Image courtesy of: http://www.snixykitchen.com/2014/03/25/recipe-rewind-butternut-squash-soup-with-parmesan-crisps/.
This recipe is a Fall favorite for me. At the end of every summer, I restock my supply of homemade chicken stock, and then, all I can think about is SOUP! And I can’t say enough about how flavorful and hearty this one is. With the fresh chill of Autumn in the air, it’s the perfect meal at the end of a long day. Zesty Sausage and Kale Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage 3-4 large Potatoes, skins on, sliced in half and then in 1/4″ half moons 2 medium Onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped, cooked Bacon, grease reserved* 4 Garlic Cloves, minced 1/2 bunch Kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into large chunks (I prefer Red Russian or Tuscan Curly for this recipe.) 4 cups (32 oz.) Chicken Stock 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil Instructions: Break Sausage into small bits by hand and brown with Olive Oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer cooked Sausage to stock pot and set skillet aside. Add Chicken Stock and Potatoes to stock pot. Cover and bring to low boil over medium heat. Return to skillet. Add 2 tbsp. Bacon Grease and chopped Onions, and cook over medium-low heat until Onions are translucent and fairly soft. Add Garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Transfer Onions and Garlic to stock pot with other ingredients. Cover and return to simmer. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes or until Potatoes are soft and break apart when stirred. Remove soup from heat. Stir in Kale and Cream. Cover until ready to serve. Serve hot with fresh bread and butter! *If you’re like me and you usually have a little tub of Bacon Grease in the fridge but don’t always have the actual Bacon, don’t worry about that part. The Grease will add enough Bacon flavor that the soup will taste just fine without the bits.
My favorite part about this recipe (other than it’s crispy-creaminess, of course!) is that the stovetop portion can be done ahead of time, saving the final broiling for right before you eat. It’s a perfect compliment to holiday main courses such as roasted turkey or chicken. Also, save that delicious cream that’s left over and drizzle it over roasted potatoes or freshly cooked greens or to fold into mashed potatoes. Creamy Braised Potatoes and Fennel By Holly Rodricks (Inspired by Food52.) Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-2″ chunks 2 Fennel Bulbs, with tough/bruised outer layers removed, trimmed and cut lengthwise into wedges about 1.5” wide, leaving core intact to hold wedges together 2 cups Cream 1 cup Chicken Stock 1 Bay Leaf 4 large sprigs fresh Thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme) 1/2 tsp. dried Orange Zest (or fresh zest of 1 Orange, if available) 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, finely grated 3 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine Cream and Chicken Stock and set aside. In a 4 quart pan, combine Potatoes, Fennel wedges, and Bay Leaf. Season generously with Salt and Pepper. Pour Cream mixture over vegetables until just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until Potatoes and Fennel are tender and cooked through. While vegetables are cooking, toss Thyme, Orange Zest, and Cheese together in small bowl until evenly mixed, and set aside. A few minutes before Potatoes and Fennel are cooked, preheat oven broiler to medium high and generously coat the bottom of a casserole or gratin dish with olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to prepared dish. Some Cream mixture will carry over, which is a good thing! Add more Salt and Pepper to taste, as necessary. Then drizzle Potatoes and Fennel with a little more Olive Oil and add Cheese mixture. Toss all ingredients together until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer in dish and place under broiler, approximately 6 inches away. Brown for 3-5 minutes, until potatoes and fennel are crispy around the edges, or longer as suits your preference. Serve hot! *Image courtesy of: https://food52.com/recipes/14606-crispy-cream-braised-potatoes-and-fennel.
As the seasons change, our stomachs and palates begin to crave a change in food, as well. This simple and delicious recipe by Elias Kushner of What’s Edible is a great “transitional” meal, moving towards the warm, hearty foods of winter, but carrying with it a bit of the lightness of the end of summer. Ginger Carrot Soup by Elias Kushner of What’s Edible Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 2 lbs. Carrots, diced small 1 small Onion, diced small 2 cloves Garlic, minced 1 inch Ginger, minced 1 quart Chicken Stock, heated 1 1/2 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Heat Olive Oil in large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add Onions and sauté, stirring about 1 minute. Add Ginger and Garlic. Continue cooking 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Season with Salt and Pepper. Add Carrots and cook until slightly softened, stirring frequently. Add hot Chicken Stock and bring it to low boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until Carrots are tender but not mushy. Remove the pot from heat. With a hand blender, blend soup until smooth. (If using food processor or blender, blend in batches to prevent overcrowding. If soup is too thick, add hot water until desired consistency is reached.) Serve hot and enjoy! *Image courtesy of http://www.sobeys.com/en/recipes/ginger-orange-curried-carrot-soup/.