Potato Leek Soup

Shelagh Mullen, food designer and founder of the blog “She Cooks Design” shares recipes for Potato Leek Soup and Soda Bread with us.

Leek & Potato Soup

2 tablespoons Irish butter
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
(about 2 small leeks)
1 onion, chopped (about a cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, whole
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
6 fresh thyme stems
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, about 3, diced (I leave
the skins on…)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or a few scratches of fresh
1/4 cup of oats
Fresh cracked black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

Heat butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, onions, garlic, and thyme sprigs (you’ll fish them out later), and season with a good pinch of kosher salt, and several grinds of pepper.  Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

Stir in the white wine vinegar and Dijon, and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, and then add the chicken stock, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until potatoes are completely tender when pierced with a fork.

Let cool slightly. Pluck out the thyme sprigs, then transfer the soup to a blender. Blend until smooth.  Take care when blending the hot soup, it expands and can go all over your kitchen. Place a towel over the lid, just in case, and work in batches if necessary.  Return the smooth soup to the pot and add the milk.  Return to a simmer, season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Crispy Fried Leeks can be purchased in many grocery stores and are a tasty garnish. Completely optional, of course!

 

Shelagh’s Irish Soda Bread

2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour*
2 cups (240g) unbleached white flour*
1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar (or 1/4 cup honey)
2 teaspoons (12g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (6g) baking soda
1/2 cup oats (50g) (+ extra for sheet pan)
1 1/2 teaspoon (6g) kosher salt (affiliate link)*
2 large eggs
1 1/4 – 2 cups (285-450mL) buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375˚. Line a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link) with parchment paper (affiliate link) and sprinkle with
a little extra oatmeal.

In a large bowl mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, soda, oatmeal, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs,
buttermilk, and butter (if using honey versus brown sugar, mix it with the wet ingredients). Add the wet to the dry and
stir with a wooden spoon until moistened.

Add extra flour as needed and knead for 5 turns (right in the bowl, just to bring it all together in a dough mass) then
shape dough into 2 or 3 round loaves using more flour as necessary, and place on a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link). Cut the sign of the cross on top of each loaf with a sharp and/or serrated knife. Bake until brown and crusty, 45-50 minutes.

You will know it’s ready when you thump the bottom of the load, it should have a hollow sound and/or registers 200
degrees on a digital instant read thermometer (affiliate link).  Let cool for a bit on a wire rack, then serve with some Irish
butter and Irish cheese, or your favorite jam.

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