Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I've got another confession to make.

Or two, or three. Actually, I'm not sure how much I'll be baring my soul today, but let's get started, shall we?

First, I'd like to acknowledge I have a thing for tablecloths:

I got these three at Target just last week. My husband rolled his eyes at me. He just doesn't understand. It's like buying a pretty dress for the dining room. The poor thing had some older, stained ones. It's Spring! Time for new dresses for the dining room!

Secondly, I don't know if anyone really noticed, but I dropped out of Weight Watchers. No more points around these parts.  I'm not skipping my dieting by any means, I am still exercising, weighing in weekly and eating well, I'm just not paying WW to keep track of things for me. I am doing it all on my own now, so no more point values with recipes. Sorry if anyone really liked that part, it was actually a bit of a hassle for me, on top of tracking points, trying to convert recipes over, even ones from Cooking Light just added time to my cooking process.

Thirdly, I've given up sweets and desserts for Lent. This should help the weight loss process along too. I haven't had anything even resembling chocolate since March 8th. Have I mentioned I am excited we are almost into April? Lent ends on my birthday, this is a good thing!

And I think this is the last, I apologize for the late posting on this soup. It is a very tasty soup, and used up my St Patrick's Day leftovers. You know what happens when you invite a group of meat eaters over? They eat all the corned beef and leave you with potatoes and cabbage. And no one wants just the cabbage and potatoes, right?

Thankfully, Bon Appetit seemed to predict my predicament and had a soup recipe posted on Epicurious using cabbage and potatoes. Now, the recipe didn't call for leftovers, but I made it work, and the soup was surprisingly yummy. Even I, the one who loves brussel sprouts and cabbage, wasn't entirely too sure this soup would work, but it really does. Especially with the creamy lemon topper.

I am sorry if you had the same leftovers and needed some way to use them up. But at least the recipe is here for next year, see, in truth, I am early!

Potato, Cabbage and Leek Soup

Adapted from Epicurious

Notes: Because I was using leftovers, I skipped a few steps. Essentially, I only sauteed the fresh garlic and leeks, then added the cabbage, potatoes and a few carrots I had left over. I skipped the bay leaf because all my ingredients had been cooked and had great flavor already, including my beer braised cabbage.

1/2 cup crème fraîche, sour cream or greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups diced green cabbage (1/2-inch dice; from about 1/2 medium head)
3 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; 3 to 4 large)
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 2 x 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 Turkish bay leaf
6 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth

Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Cover and chill. 
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. 
Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage; add leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind, if desired, and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle crème fraîche mixture over soup and serve. 

I skipped chives for garnish, add more zest, it is awesome!

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