Friday, March 1, 2013

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

I always talk about wanting to make special meals for my beautiful Angel, Clare; but, for various reasons, I do not get to do that as often as I want.  For example, I planned a three course meal for New Years Eve, but, I was unable to do so because I was very much under the weather.  We have both been very busy at work and with preparing for Baby Bolek, which further limits the opportunities.  However, when Valentine's Day came along, I decided that I would prepare that special, three-course dinner for her.  Each course would be a Chef Bolek original.  

I also decided to make it a challenge.  I would decide on a primary ingredient, and then choose anywhere from three to five additional ingredients (excluding things like oils, spices, etc.).  To ensure that the ingredients complemented each other, I consulted the Flavor Bible, which my parents got me as a gift.   I have used the Flavor Bible in the past, and, the meals turned out very well. 

For the soup, I decided that the primary ingredient would be leeks.  After all, they are in season right now.  I then decided to use potatoes, carrots, and an onion.  As I began preparing this dish, I decided that I would separate the carrots from the rest of the dish.  I initially planned on swirling the pureed carrots into the leek/onion/potato soup.  However, in recognition of Valentine's day, I tried to pipe the carrots onto the soup in the shape of a heart.  I need to work on my piping skills, but the heart turned out fairly well.

Overall, the soup turned out well.  If I would have done anything different, I would have added some herbs or spices, such as thyme, coriander, turmeric or cumin.  The herbs and spices are not necessary, and, the soup was a delicious and creative way to start the dinner.  

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-3

4 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 Russet potato, peeled and cut into small 2 inch pieces
4-6 carrots, peeled, and cut in large pieces
2-3 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
Grapeseed oil

1. Roast the vegetables.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the leeks, onions, potato and carrots in a bowl.  Add the grapeseed oil and toss until the vegetables are covered. Spread out the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast the vegetables in the oven, about 30 to 45 minutes.  

2.  Puree the vegetables.  Add 1 cup of vegetable broth to a blender.  Add all of the vegetables except the carrots.  Blend until the vegetables are a liquid, adding another cup of vegetable broth during the blending.  Transfer to a pot.  You can add additional vegetable broth to reach the desired consistency.  Clean the blender and repeat the process with the carrots, but use 1/2 cup of water and add 1/2 cup of water during the blending.  Pour the carrot into a separate pot and add additional water to reach the desired consistency if needed.

3.  Finish the dish.  Heat both pots over low heat to warm the soups.  Pour the root vegetable soup into a bowl.  Drizzle the carrot soup as swirls or shapes over the soup.  


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