It's that time of the year for soup. The cold temps make a warm bowl of soupy goodness just right, so when I saw this recipe I got an idea.
I liked idea of baking the potatoes to help cut down on cooking time, but I wanted something a little cheesier, so here is what we came up with:
- 8-10 medium sized idaho potatoes
- 1 leek
- 2 carrots
- 3-4 cups chedder or colby/jack cheese
- garlic (we used fresh and roasted)
- 2 cans of vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup of 1/2&1/2
- 1/2 cup of milk
- splash of olive oil
- various spices
1. Poke holes into potatoes with fork and bake however you please. We did them in the microwave to cut down on cooking time (2 batches at 15 minutes each)
2. While potatoes are cooking put a big pot on the stove with some olive oil (or butter!), and add the leeks and carrots. Cook on medium or medium-high for 15 minutes or so.
3. When potatoes are done cooking add minced fresh garlic to leek/carrot, and allow to cook while you peel the skin off the spuds (you can leave on, but I didn't want the skin to muck with the consistency of the finished soup). I don't really have a good way to do this, so I just peeled them while they were hot.
4. cut potatoes up a bit and throw in the pot along with both cans of stock. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are super soft and starting to fall apart. By now the carrots and leaks should also be pretty soft.
5. Toss in your roasted garlic, remove from heat and blend. Thankfully we have an immersion blender which makes this easy, but if you don't, just work in batches in a regular blender. Taste and season as desired. I added ground pepper, fennel seed, thyme, cayenne, and salt.
6. put over medium heat and stir in half&half and milk until you get a consistency that you like. It should be slightly thinner than your end soup, because the cheese is going to thicken it up a bit.
7. Now add the cheese, reserving a little bit for garnish. Continue to heat the soup until it is bubbling and the cheese is all melted. Make sure to stir it, as the cheese has a habit of settling at the bottom and then burning.
8. At this point you should be ready to serve. If the soup is too thin just continue cooking without a lid until it reduces down a bit. If it is too thick then add a splash of water or more milk.
All in all it only took us about an hour to throw this together. At the end I remembered that we had some left-over ham so we diced that and threw it in too.