It’s officially Autumn!!! Yea! I’ve been in the mood for soups, winter squashes, warm bread, and apples… ( the apples will have to be another post, as will the home-made bread )…
So I made an old favorite for soup, potato and leek soup, although I used an onion instead of the leek. I also roasted up a butternut squash, and while I was doing both of those things I also made a batch of bulgur… yum.
For the butternut squash, I was inspired by a recent post from Katie (Chocolate-Covered Katie) in which she made “Butter(nut) Me Up” Squash Fries. I did not have a fry cutter, so I cut up the butternut squash into cubes, then I sprinkled on some cinnamon and a dash of salt (I love that no oil was necessary), I roasted them on parchment paper in a shallow oven pan at 400°F for 50 minutes (originally 40 minutes and had let them cool, but then decided that I wanted them a bit more cooked and put them back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes)… here they are in all their glory…
While the squash was roasting I started preparing the soup and the bulgur at the same time, I heated up a large dutch oven and a 2 quart pot both with a bit of olive oil, I added 3/4 of a chopped onion into the dutch oven and the rest of the onion into the smaller pot and a pinch of salt to each… while those were simmering, I chopped up about 5 cloves of garlic, 3 went to the dutch oven and 2 went to the smaller pot… allowed the onion to get a bit translucent, then added 2 cups of water to the small pot, a bit of better than bouillon vegetable base (~1/2 tsp), and 1 cup of bulgur… covered and brought to a boil, then lowered the heat, and let simmer for 20 minutes then turned off the heat… I left it covered and did not stir… until the soup was finished. Here’s the bulgur in all it’s glory…
So I’ll put up the soup recipe in a little more proper format, but I personally have a soup method, which is not the method in the cookbook for this recipe, so I’ll post my method… this is what works for me. I tend to chop, then add, then chop the next ingredient, then add, and so on. This is an old favorite, I’ve made it a lot, so I tend to tweak it depending upon the ingredients I have on hand… that’s why I love soup, it’s so forgiving.
Potato and Leek (or Onion) Soup
slightly adapted from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen
Rating: Awesome, Old Favorite
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups leeks, chopped ( I substituted a yellow onion )
salt ( I did not measure, I add a pinch of salt with the onion, and then taste at the end )
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped ( I used a handful of baby carrots, chopped)
1 stalk celery, chopped ( optional, I did not have any on hand )
3 potatoes, scrubbed and skin left on, cubed ( I usually use yukon gold, but this time I used russet )
4 cups water
1/2 Tbsp. better than bouillon, vegetable base
freshly ground pepper
dried thyme and marjoram ( I eyeballed it, about 1/2 – 1 tsp. of each)
1 cup frozen peas ( newly inspired addition )
1 cup non-dairy milk ( I used Silk soymilk )
fresh basil, chiffonade
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat, add onion and a pinch of salt. Simmer a few minutes then add garlic, simmer a few minutes more until onion starts to get translucent ( I am chopping the carrots while the onion is simmering )
- Chop then add, carrots, celery (if using), and potatoes.
- Add water, better than bouillon, black pepper, thyme, and marjoram, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Once potatoes are tender, check spices (taste and adjust), then remove some of the soup and use your blender or an immersion blender, blend until smooth, I like a few chunks of the vegetables throughout my soup, so I only blended about 3 cups.
- Return blended soup back into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add peas, reduce heat, and cook a few minutes until bright green.
- Add non-dairy milk and heat through, remove from heat.
- Ladle out into bowls, top with fresh basil.
Then I plated all the items together to make this lovely meal… I served it with home-made bread, which I promise I will post soon, with a smear of earth balance. The sweetness and cinnamon-y-ness of the squash went well with the savoriness of the bulgur, I found myself putting both on my fork at once. The soup was awesome, the peas were a nice touch. Enjoy!