Cheesy potato and leek soup

January 16, 2010

Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got. And I have a lot of potatoes, leeks and cheese available to me at the nearby market! This is nothing to complain about…I often craved a leek and a good hunk of cheese while I was in the States. So here is a simple, hearty soup that you can modify to your own tastes. Use yellow onions instead of leeks if you like, add some carrots or peas, and maybe a little diced ham if you would like.

For those of you who are curious about how the gluten free baking is going, I am almost through the stash of sorghum flour that I brought with me and I have not found any yet at the African markets nearby where we live. I have found tapioca starch at the Asian market nearby, as well as Fou Fou flour, or manioc/cassava flour, which is similar to tapioca starch. There is also an abundant and inexpensive supply of potato starch, which I may begin to substitute for cornstarch in my quick breads and cakes. Seeing though as I have not found an acceptable substitute for my staple flour, sorghum, I may have to order a bulk supply of sorghum flour from the States, which will, believe it or not, be considerably less expensive than using any of the gluten free baking mixes I have found here, and I just love that flour for its taste, texture and health. It is an exciting adventure to experiment with locally available grains! But I am definitely missing the incredible variety of gluten free options that I previously enjoyed. Anyway, perhaps I will find some sorghum flour in Paris at one of the African markets there.

Cheesy Potato and Leek Soup

• olive oil
• 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and sliced thinly (or 1 large yellow onion, diced)
• 3 large cloves of garlic, minced.
• 5 to 6 medium yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks or half moon slices
• salt and pepper
• 4 cups of chicken broth (gluten free)
• 4 T butter
• 2 T cornstarch
• 1 C milk
• 2 C shredded cheddar cheese
• optional: some diced ham

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium to medium high heat and sauté the leeks until they are wilted and perhaps a little golden. Add the minced garlic, some salt and pepper to taste and cook for another minute. Add the diced potatoes and the chicken broth and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes. During the last ten to fifteen minutes of the soup’s cooking time, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the cornstarch to form a roux. When the roux is bubbling and fragrant, stir in the milk, and heat the mixture until it thickens, stirring frequently. Then add the cheese and stir until the sauce is smooth. Take your potato and leek soup of the heat and stir in the cheese sauce until everything is well incorporated. Also add some chopped ham at the end if desired.

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One Response to “Cheesy potato and leek soup”

  1. Lani said

    I’ll definitely be trying this one. Potatoes and leeks are two of my favorites. 🙂

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