Saturday, October 22, 2005

Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa

This was a dish dictated by the vegetables we got in our farm share. I had been accumulating leeks over the weeks, was up to about five pounds and really had no clue what to do with them. I hit the recipe books and sites looking for some ideas. I also had been getting potatoes each week, so when I saw this recipe, I thought why not? I make a lot of bean soups and meat stews in the winter, and something like this wasn't generally on my radar. But it would get rid of the leeks and the potatoes in one go, freeing up space in the fridge as a bonus!

It's also easy. The hardest part is the prep, washing and chopping the leeks - what a pain. I'm no expert at this process so you'll have to figure it out yourself. Chop off the dark green stuff at the top and the root end, then slice in half and cut into one-inch pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into smallish cubes. Slice the sausage in half lengthwise then slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Heat some butter in a Dutch oven and sautee the leeks until they are soft but not brown; if you overcook them, you'll get hot leek mush. Sprinkle flour over the leeks and cook for a few minutes, then whisk in stock (preferably homemade, of course). Add a bay leaf and the potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, then cook for no more than ten minutes. Add in sausage, then take the pot off heat and let it stand for ten minutes to let the flavors blend.

There's plenty of time while the soup is cooking to clean up, set the table, slice some nice crusty bread and figure out what wine to drink (we had a California chardonnay with enough substance to stand up to the kielbasa but not overpower the subtle flavor of the leeks). It was a very nice soup, I have to say. I did have one serving's worth of leftovers, now sitting in the fridge, but I'm not too sure how it will stand up to reheating. I'll keep this recipe on-hand in case I ever need to get rid of a lot of leeks!

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