Potato Leek Soup

The Assignment:  Venture to a San Franciscan farmers market, purchase something I’ve never cooked before and make it happen.

“Early” Saturday morning, Rachel and I drove down California Street until we were at the Ferry Building on Embarcadero.  It was my first time at the Ferry Building Farmers Market – and despite the rain, I loved it.  I came across these sturdy-looking leeks and was easily convinced I could make a Potato Leek soup I’ve always wanted to try.  The ladies working the stand helped me out considerably, as I had not a clue which part of the leek was used for cooking.  The leeks were grown on the Catalan Family Farm in Hollister, California – about 100 miles from San Francisco.  Their bi-weekly trek to the city made me confident they meant business.  And an esculent one at that.  All products from the farm are 100% certified organic.

 I started looking at Food Network recipes and came across this Emeril Lagasse creation.  It was just a few steps, nothing too crazy (until I got to the blender) and pancetta was among the ingredients.  FoodNetwork.com made it easy for me with printable 4×6 recipe cards that I quickly found for good use.

 This time around, I read all of the instructions before I started cooking and prepping.  I didn’t want to be shocked with another 4 hour quiche disaster.  I sliced the white/light green parts of 4 leeks, chopped 1 medium onion, measured 1 cup of pancetta and julienned 4 large russet potatoes.  These were the main ingredients I worked with.  The Emeril Lagasse via FoodNetwork.com recipe can be found here.

 After combing the rest of the ingredients (including a lot of chicken and beef broth), I let the potatoes soften so the blending process would work in my favor.  About 30 minutes later, I poured small amounts of the leek, onion, potato and stock mixture into the blender for a quick puree.  Some batches I pureed more than others, leaving a nice chunky consistency in the soup.  Turns out – the Potato Leek soup was better than I expected.  And most importantly, it was quick and easy.

Who knew a rainy Saturday morning at the Farmers Market would leave me with a warm, starchy soup on a chilly Monday night?  I certainly didn’t think so when I was wet and cold outside the Ferry Building.  Would I go back to the Farmers Market and do this all over again?  Absolutely.