Saturday, January 13, 2007

Potato Soup in the Engine House

Northern California is in the middle of a freeze this weekend. I realize that temperatures in the lower 20s don't match the brain-numbing temperatures of the northern United States.

I thought a thick potato soup with leeks would warm the trainmen at the El Dorado Western engine house around noon. Like the loggers who ate in the camp kitchens of the California Door Company, our workers appreciate a hearty meal that fills the belly and warms the soul.

I prepared the soup in the 6-quart Dutch oven that I picked up at a Placeville antique shop last July. It's interesting that I commented on the 100-degree heat and power outage when I wrote my blog.

Under normal circumstances, the soup only takes about 1-1/2 hours to prepare. But the cold weather added an additional 30 to 45 minutes to the process. Although the temperature at the engine house was in the high 30s this morning, the dry conditions made cooking with charcoal easy.

I used Yukon gold potatoes because they added a nice, creamy texture to the soup. And the soup gave me an opportunity to use the pint-sized jar of garlicky Alfredo sauce that's been in the cupboard for several months.

I forgot to purchase chives at the market this morning. Strips of the tops of the leeks made a nice substitute. Also try frying julienned leeks in hot oil for garnish.


Substitute an equal amount of heavy cream for the Alfredo sauce if desired.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced thinly
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
6-7 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (16-ounce) jar garlic Alfredo sauce
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch chived, chopped
3-ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Sweat leeks until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for several minutes. Do not scorch flour.

Add potatoes and broth. Cook until potatoes start to crumble, about 20-25 minutes. Mash mixture with a potato masher. The soup will be chunky. Add Alfredo sauce and gently bring to serving temperature. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Garnish each bowl with chopped chived, crumbled bacon grated Parmesan cheese. Makes about 10 (8-ounce) servings.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment