This is my favorite time at the farmers’ market, because there are so many great organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs to choose from. I’m a huge fan of buying local produce at farm stands and farmers’ markets, because local food picked and sold at the peak of freshness has incredible flavors. Buying local also supports local farmers. This week at the market I purchased:
Zucchini (actually, a friend gave me some)
These ingredients all came together this morning in a spectacularly fresh farmers’ market breakfast.
It’s been a little blustery here in the Pacific Northwest the past several days. Weather like this makes me want to cook comforting foods that warm the belly. I am also in possession of my last CSA box, which contains beautiful organic leeks and potatoes.
It’s amazing and wonderful the earth gives us warmer, heavier foods as the weather changes. I started in spring with scapes and baby lettuce that made light spring and summer dishes, and have progressed through the season to these wonderful fall delights. Local, seasonal vegetables add variety to the menu, encouraging you to make the most of them as the earth offers them up.
The cold weather and the vegetables are telling me – it’s time to warm things up. While I’ll miss the gorgeous juicy tomatoes, I’m pretty happy with the potatoes and leeks, too. After all, on a blustery fall day when faced with a box of organic, fresh potatoes and leeks, what else is there to make but potato leek soup?
The good news about potato leek soup is it doesn’t have to be difficult. I think all told with my vegetable chopping prep and 20 minutes of simmering on the stove, this recipe took me 30 minutes. My version is minimalist and rustic, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves.
When cooking with leeks, you need to clean them well because dirt gets trapped between the layers. To clean, chop the leeks and place them in a bowl of cold water. Swirl the leeks around in the water and then empty into a colander. Repeat this two to three times to remove all of the dirt. Allow the leeks to drain in a colander while you chop your potatoes.
Easy Potato Leek Soup
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
4 leeks, chopped, including green parts
1/4 c. flour (sweet rice flour for gluten-free)
4-5 potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1″ pieces (any work – but I especially love Yukon golds)
6 c. gluten-free chicken stock
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Cook bacon in a large dutch oven until crisp. Remove bacon from oil with a slotted spoon and set to drain on paper towel.
Add leeks to bacon grease and saute until they begin to soften, about five minutes.
Add flour and stir to combine, cooking for about two minutes to remove raw flour flavor.
Stir in chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove all browned bits.
Add potatoes and bring to a simmer.
Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until potato softens.
Remove from heat and process about half of the soup in a blender, leaving the other half chunky. Add pureed soup back to pot and stir to combine. Alternatively, you can puree all of the soup for a smoother preparation.
Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with crisped bacon and chopped chives.
This is great with a nice salad and a crusty bread.
Note: When you puree hot soup in a blender, be really careful. I once saw my mother spray lentil soup from a food processor all over the kitchen ceiling. This can happen because the pressure of steam builds up during pureeing if you don’t allow it to escape. When pureeing hot soup in a blender or food processor, place a folded towel over your hand to protect it, and allow steam to escape every few seconds.