Sunday, October 11, 2009

Your Sunday Sooooooop Recipe

Ah, October’s bright blue weather, crisp cool mornings, time to get out and start in on fall pruning chores. In my back yard, the four o’clocks are sagging and dying, the magnificent grape vine along the back fence is filled with yellowing leaves with many already on the ground. The ‘spitoonyahs’ are looking blowsy and blown and time for a trim back in hope they’ll have one last bloom in them before they’re gone for the season. Clearly, Winter’s a’cummin’ and what better on a crisp day than Spinach, leek, and potato soup? This one again from the Oct. Sunset Magazine, which describes it thusly: “Good old vichyssoise, but with spinach and without cream – so it’s a beautiful electric green and kind to your waistline.” I Yum Wot I Yum! Turn you into Popeye in a trice! And couldn’t be more simple or deeeelicious!

Trim tough stems from 1 lb spinach (1 bunch)
Cook: 1 lb ( 2 leeks, approx) cleaned, sliced leeks in butter with salt, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups low-salt vegetable or chicken broth and 1 large chopped peeled Yukon Gold potato (or 2-3 medium regular potatoes if you can’t get Yukon Golds). Bring to a boil covered, then simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 – 15 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
Puree soup in a blender or with an emersion blender. Reheat in pan thinning with more broth. Season with salt and pepper.
Top it with croutons. Serves 4 – 6


Alon Perlman said...

BTW when are we gonna start the Ham Hock and Split Pea Soup Dueling recipies?
(Ham hocks? and he seemed like such a nice Jewish lad)

Mike Green said...

First, get the trinity ingredients:
Onion (yellow) celery and carrots.
I use one big onion to three big carrots and four celery stalks (leave the tops on.)
boil in salted (lightly) water (aprox 1/2 gallon) till limp, then discard veggies.
Add ham hock and three or four strips bacon.
(here is where you add gandmoms secret ingredients),
Black and white pepper, garlic, bay, (I put in a few shakes of pepper plant, old bay is OK too)
Reduce 1/3
Add the dried peas and simmer until the peas start to soften (A long time,you may need to add more water or stock and take bribes from anyone that smells this), then remove about half, leaving the bones in the soup.
Blend that half then return to the pot.
Vigorously stir and chunk pieces off that bone while simmering then serve.
With crispy crusted french bread and a good stout beer.
Harvest time.
A secret ingredient (sour cream)

Churadogs said...

Is the sour creme a topping/garnish? I would suggest, you can cool the whole mess overnight in the fridge, then skim off some of the FAT which, depending on the ham hock can be considerable. There's plenty of flavor and fat left even with the skimming. But, yum. Yes, it's crispy fall, time for dueling split peas. Also navy bean with hamhocks.

And I know it's likely a sin, but a good split pea with diced carrots and chicken or a totally vegitarian pea soup can be had for good Jewish boys and people watching their fat intake, even tough purists will blanch.

Alon Perlman said...

Wow thanks, I wasn't ready for the throw down, Yep that's the Key basics in both, and the same fine touches. In fact my recipe is a mashed pea + intact bean combo with a stock stage then a Mash pea in a big pot and other ingredients added in stages to a middle pot.
Actually my recipe takes about 3 days to make and about 4 to describe, but I'll cheat-
Boil the Ham hocks (Smoked type not a ham-bone-in but the actual upper trotters, pick ones with more meat at the cut ends) till the little meat on them can be extracted, (reserve, freezable). As Mike does you will need another meat, The thicker the better for bacon, so follow his bacon lead, or the reminder of a spiral ham but I add it later. Or find a good ham steak and rough cube and can fry in lard to sear in the shape then reserve) return Bone and skin to the stock for more boiling (Bay- large leaves, Celery root and leaves, carrots, Onion family, leeks even other root veges). Every dry leaf spice in the kitchen gets a shot at the stock. Have the veges large chunks so can drain off (reserve to puree or discard) After spoon sieving let stock stand in refrig in tall container so fat (Carrot-orange tinged spice Flavored Lard!) can be scooped off, If you did it right the remainder will be as jelled as ballistic jell (will hold up the largest kitchen knife). Now start the split peas separately.
Use the biggest pot you have, no not that one, the one far back that you don’t use and can only see on tippi-toes (Or did we move it to the Garage?) The one with the flat bottom so you can rough mash it later with potato masher. The stock may be too salty so reserve some on the split peas, also you want it thick for mashing (start with water). Once the split peas are mashed use your time machine to go back to the previous evening and soak 16 types bean soup (Only use about ¼ as much as the split peas or even less)
(only have nine beans ? do you want to do this thing or not?) (If the flux capacitor is on the fritz, or you don’t have several days to do it, sometimes I start them cooking in stock and water, and don’t add them till the end combination) If you don’t have any salt added or too much water the beans sometimes split, don’t use your actual stock because it is too rich (encourages bacteria) for a room temperature soak. Instead of Salt where Mike has it, I use a Soup cube, any will do.(There is a hambone "Jamone" Soup, one for the Mexican market, various Name-brands have it.)
Don't overcook the beans.
Sometimes I add New Carrots and the course chopped middle part of leaks, best blanch or in dilute stock and add at end.

The trick at this point is to blend flavors while keeping distinctness. For the final presentation, I add New peas (frozen is fine, rinse and add a couple of minutes before serving , in a big enough pot the residual heat in the pea mash when taken off flame will do it). Cook them just par boiled and not yet salty, for sweet bursts of flavor. Reserve a few to sprinkle with the reserved and heated Ham hock meat. I will try a swirl of sour cream, also good for presentation. Every spoonful is a surprise- Lima bean
Or just make it like you always do and add some frozen peas toward end or when reheating.
Halal? Casher? Turkey backs for stock, plus smoked turkey drumsticks, most meat sliced off to reserve, bone to flavor stock.
Yes, I was like this, well before I got involved with the sewer

Mike Green said...

Yep, garnish.....

Churadogs said...

Fresh peas at the end. Ooooo, yum. Also, instead of a soup cube, if you get to a gourmet shop (Linn's store in Cambria has it, I think, also Williams and Sonoma,) get a jar of hugely concentrated Demi-Glace, either chicken or beef. A little goes a long, long way.

Soooooppp, soooopppp. Perfect thing to make on a rainy fall day.

Alon Perlman said...

Yep, Dittos, the first big pour of the season started after midnight sometime and going strong 1 inch stated prediction.
Cambria? that's practically Northern California, and down-unda heya we call it vegamite (glace)

And a perfect day to make or sip A Soup Glorious SooooupppUnfortunatly the ham hocks will have to stay in the store, for I am made of sugar and daren't go outside not even for a relatively uncluttered Public speaking period at the Board of supervisors.
(Howdja think I ever got so sweet, Honey?)

Churadogs said...

Alon sez:"(Howdja think I ever got so sweet, Honey?)"

Maple Syrup-el?