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Potato Leek Soup

Wow, it’s been a a while since I posted a recipe! I actually made this soup almost four weeks ago– right after the Saturday Farmer’s Market reopened. Everything in this soup was from the farmers market, except for the bacon. Sad to say, that piggy was factory-raised. (I’m currently trying to cut down on my non-organic meat consumption, which has lead to an almost vegetarian state. It’s kind of interesting! Good for my karma and my carbon footprint.)

:Ingredients:

  • .25 lb bacon, cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 whole leek, sliced thinly (feel free to use the green leaves– they take more washing, but I think they’re tasty!)
  • 4 2-3″ diameter new potatoes, cut into .25″ slices
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground dried thyme, or 1 sprig stripped and minced
  • .5 tsp paprika
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • salt and white pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the bacon until it starts looking crispy and it has given up most of its fat. Add the leeks and garlic, and allow them to start caramelizing– once they start to look golden around the edges, remove the bacon, leeks and garlic from the pan, retaining the grease. Lightly fry the potatoes in the grease. Once the potatoes start to soften, pour off excess grease and return the bacon and the allium (the leeks and garlic!) to the pan. Allow to cook together for another minute or so, then add the water, seasonings, and the yogurt. Stir to combine. Cover and drop heat to a low simmer. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are quite soft. Lightly mash potatoes with a fork until they are broken into small pieces throughout the soup. Taste test for salt and pepper.

Serve hot on a cold day, or cold on a hot day. A satisfying soup– the yogurt keeps it from becoming too heavy.

I made this dish, along with some lovely saffron-lemon mashed potatoes, for lunch on Sunday. Very good reviews all around.

(I have a photo! It’s a nice photo, too! But my computer is being evil at the moment and won’t let me upload it…)

:Ingredients:

  • four large firm fleshed apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • .33 lb bacon, chopped
  • 1.5 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1 sage leaf, finely minced (roughly 1 tsp)
  • 1 sprig thyme, finely minced (roughly .5 tsp)
  • .5 cup white wine
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pan, fry your bacon until it is almost crisp and has given up most of it’s fat. Add the leek and cabbage and fry in the bacon grease until they are mostly cooked. Add the wine and the herbs and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wine is completely reduced. Salt and pepper to taste

On a baking try, stuff each apple with a quarter of the dressing. (If one quarter doesn’t fit, do not force it! You could break the apple and have a jolly mess. Instead, just lay the leftover dressing around the base of it’s respective apple.) Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the apples are fork-tender.

Either serve one per person as a side dish, or two per as an entree. Very good with other veggies, and with rice or potatoes.

In an effort to channel my inner Nick, I decided to try my hand at a beloved childhood dish that I’ve never had much of a  fondness for: lasagna. That was about as much as my inner non-conformist could take, so I let her choose the filling for my creation. The result? A dual colored lasagne featuring white sauce with pears, red sauce with bacon, and a whole lot of parmesan cheese. I guess I have a thing for incorporating sweet fruits into savory dishes. It sounds very strange, I know, but the combination is actually very tasty.

:Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white sauce with thyme (recipe to follow)
  • 2 cups red sauce
  • 2.5 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb bacon, chopped into squares .5″ in width, fried and drained
  • 3 ripe pears, peeled and sliced thinly
  • lasagna noodles, dimensions to fit your pan and enough for 3 layers (DON’T COOK THEM! Dry noodles are easier to work with and they cook thoroughly during the baking process.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a 6x10x3 inch baking dish. (You really can use any baking dish with dimensions close to this, you just might need more or less of the ingredients.) Using one half of the white sauce, make an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Top this with a quarter of the Parmesan. Layer on one row of lasagna noodles. Layer 2: one half of the red sauce in an even coat, one half of the bacon, another portion of the parmesan, a layer of noodles. Layer 3: one half of the remaining white sauce, the sliced pears (if you don’t use them all, don’t worry), a portion of the parmesan, the remaining lasagna noodles. Layer 4: the rest of the red sauce, the rest of the bacon, the rest of the parmesan.

Using a piece of tinfoil, cover the dish. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is brown and bubbly. If the noodles are cooked before the cheese bubbles to your satisfaction, you can place the pan under the broiler for a few seconds.

Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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:Ingredients for White Sauce:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • a few grinds black pepper

Combine all liquid ingredients and the corn starch in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and continue whisking until cooking process has halted, to avoid lumps forming. Add seasonings and combine.

Very good on pasta or fresh veggies as well as in the Lasagne Moderna.