Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's Soup!

The 4 seasons are all wonderful in their own way but fall is hands down the best of all. I know I have said this before but I have to say it again. I love fall, the days are shorter, it is slowly getting cooler,( I like that a lot more then slowly getting warmer) the colors are so spectacular it is hard to stay on the road when driving. Not stopping every few feet to take a picture is a true challenge for me. Sneaking out for a quick ride this morning was no different but I resisted the urge and just enjoyed all the excellent art work nature was displaying around every turn. I allowed myself an hour round trip in the early morning sunshine. When the hubby called this morning to say hi and see how I was all I could say was "Happy" and I was as I sailed down the road singing with the radio and laughing at Getty as he put his face in the wind and let his ears fly backwards.
 Monday and yesterday however I was playing in the kitchen. Monday was chopping, mincing and putting it all in the crock pot for 6 hours. 

The soup was dinner for Tuesday and thank goodness I planned it that way because I didn't think the potatoes were soft enough and the soup seemed a little thin. Tuesday afternoon I pulled the soup out of the fridge poured it in to a dutch oven and brought it to a boil uncovered on the stove top. I lowered the heat and let it simmer another 2 hours and I was much happier with my concoction. I used the immersion blender only slightly after I was done cooking the soup and the results were outstanding. 

2 bowls later and the Husband was still singing my praises. This is one soup that is more then enough to be a complete meal all by itself, something I don't normally think about soup.Still I needed something simple easy and tasty to go along with all that goodness in a bowl. Biscuits kept popping in my head and when they popped in there with cheese and garlic added in I was sold.

  The soup started with this recipe I found on Allrecipes
 and then I made my changes.
 Potato and Leek Soup
 8 small to med potatoes cubed
 3 good sized leeks cleaned cut in half length wise then slice in half moons.
 1 small onion ruffly chopped
 4 or 5 cloves garlic minced
 1 cup bacon bits 3/4 for adding to the soup and 1/4 cup for topping when serving ( I didn't think of it until after I had served the soup.) 
 3 tablespoons of flour
 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing mix
 dried parsley
 5 cups chicken broth
 2 cups half and half
 shredded cheddar cheese
 chopped green onion
 Coat the potatoes in the flour and layer on the bottom of the crock pot.Layer the leeks on top of the potatoes then sprinkle the onion, garlic, bacon on top of all of that. Sprinkle with dressing mix and pour in the chicken broth.

 Turn the crock pot on high and cook 6 hours or more. I added the half and half 15 minutes before I was going to shut off the crock pot, but then I cooked it another 2 hours the next day so adding the half and half I really think can happen any time. 
 This is where the cooking should have ended. As you read it isn't where the cooking ended. I added more liquid then the original recipe called for because 3 cups of liquid didn't even come close to covering the veggies. Then our friend and neighbor Tom was standing next to me when I was adding the cream and he convinced me just put the whole container in. This may be why the soup seemed too thin although when I cooked the soup on the stove top it thickened very nicely. The potatoes soften up very well also once I transferred to the stove. I only needed to use the immersion blender very slightly to give the soup the texture we all like and are use to. That being said save yourself some time and trouble and just start the soup on the stove top to begin with. Cook it low and slow and as always soup is always better the next day. Serve hot topped with cheese, onion and a little bit of bacon bits.( home cooked bacon bits are best.)

 To make the delicious biscuits you see accompanying and dressing up the already pretty soup, all you need to do is use your favorite drop biscuit recipe and add fresh minced garlic and shredded cheddar cheese to the dough.

 However you cook this soup you won't be disappointed once it is all done and sitting on your dinner table.
 Happy Wednesday! Thank you for stopping by.  

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