This soup is the perfect meal for the cold weather this time of year. Now that January and February are over, it seems like only a matter of days before a spring time mentality will start setting in for everyone here in Chicago – and elsewhere for that matter. But it will probably be awhile before Mother Nature catches up. Le sigh.
While we’re waiting for Spring, have some soup! This soup is super delicious – I got the idea from Sarah’s Place blog, where she used Ina Garten’s recipe. I’m so glad I tried this – it really is (probably) one of the best things I’ve ever made. One thing that made it so incredibly good was using creme fraiche. I had never cooked with this delicious goodness before – it’s actually a French version of sour cream that combines heavy whipping cream and buttermilk. Le yum.
The creme fraiche, with the other ingredients, combine to make a rich and hearty soup – this recipe also yields a boat-load that will easily feed a small crowd. You’ll want to start by peeling and dicing 2 lbs of yukon gold potatoes, along with 4 cups leeks, both white and green parts. Leeks are basically onion’s fancier cousin. Their flavor is milder than that of onions, but not so mild as the dandy shallot. Make sense?
Spread the chopped potatoes and leeks on a baking sheet with sides, coat with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast them until they’re tender and then top with some arugula and roast again for 5 more minutes – just enough to wilt the arugula, without actually burning or drying it out. Once everything is fully roasted, pull the pan out and place over 2 burners on your stove top. Add some white wine and chicken stock to the pan to help scrape all the delicious bits and pieces stuck to the pan.
Next, transfer everything in batches to a food processer, along with more chicken stock to make a puree. I know this seems like a lot of steps but it’s almost finished, believe it or not. Add each batch to a heavy pot or dutch oven until everything is combined and smooth.
Add more stock, as needed, to make it more loose, along with some cream and the creme fraiche and any salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add in a splash of white wine and a little parmesan. You know, cause it’s just not quite rich enough . . ha! Garnish with some crispy shallots – I’ve included the quick recipe for this from Sarah and Ina below.
So rich and hearty, this delicious soup will hopefully help these wintery days and nights fly by . . .enjoy!
Recipe can be printed from Ina Garten here.
- 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chunked
- 3-4 whole chopped leeks
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, plus extra for serving
- 6 to 7 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces creme fraiche (oui oui!)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus some for garnish
- crispy shallots for garnish – optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine chopped potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan. Use 2 pans if you have more than 1 layer. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40-45 minutes, turning them a few times, until tender. Add the arugula and roast for 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted – but not dried out. Remove the pan from the oven and place on stove top over 2 burners. Stir in white wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock and simmer over low heat, scraping up the roasted bits and pieces that have stuck to the pan.
Next, transfer the roasted vegetables in batches to a food processor, adding the pan liquid and about a cup of chicken stock for each batch, to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or dutch oven. Puree all the vegetables in batches until everything is added in the large pot. Add enough of the remaining stock to make a thick soup. Then add the creme fraiche (oui oui!), heavy cream, and salt pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, whisk in about 2 tablespoons white wine and up to 1/2 cup parmesan. Serve hot, topped with Parmesan and crispy shallots, if using.
Crispy shallots - Heat some olive oil and butter over medium heat. Lower heat and add 5-6 sliced shallots (I only had 2) and slowly sautee until they are brown. This will take awhile – about 35-45 minutes, because the temp should stay low. Stir regularly so they brown evenly. Time consuming, but sooo worth it!