The holidays are here, so that means entertaining season is here too. If you're planning on having a big party or small gathering you might want to consider serving soup, especially this potato and leek soup. This recipe is something you can make the day before or even earlier in the day and let it simmer on the stove while you enjoy your friends and family. What is also great about it is that it's gluten, dairy and nut free for those who have friends with food sensitivities. You can also modify the recipe to make it vegetarian or vegan, and it still tastes great.
I hate it when you go to someone's house and you can't even converse with the host because they are too busy cooking. Haha! That's actually ME a lot of the time when I'm hosting because I'm not the best cook and it takes ALL of my concentration to do it. I'm really trying to be better at it, so I asked Nicole if she could help me.
Nicole Lee from Hey Dear came over to my house and gave me a private cooking lesson just in time for the holidays. It was exactly what I needed. I learned three different recipes, how to hold my knife correctly, how to chop my veggies the right way, and got some ideas of what to keep in my pantry. She is a brilliant cook and an amazing food stylist. If you're looking for some gluten free recipes be sure to check out her blog or hire her to help you become a better cook.
1 cup dry white wine, preferable sauvignon blanc
1 1/2 cups free range organic vegetable broth
2 celery stalks chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 sweet onions, chopped
1lb leek, the whole thing chopped
1-2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 lb fingerling potatoes (russet or yukon gold work great too)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 lb. Italian sausage, sweet or spicy (in casing)
Chop all of your vegatables with the carrots, onions and celery. Then peal the leeks, chop off the ends and slice them into quarters. Wash your potatoes and cop them into even cuts (in half, then half again, until they are in little squares). Put the carrots, celery, onion and leeks in a bowl, set aside. Put the chopped potatoes aside as well. Then finally chop the garlic and set aside.
Bring a frying pan to medium heat and sear the sausage for about minutes on each side. Once browned on each side, poke with a fork and reduce to low heat. Put a lid on the pan and finish cooking about 10-15 minutes until there is no pink the middle.
NOTE: Be mind that this is soup, it's rustic, it doesn't have to be perfect and really just throw it in the pot and it will do the rest.
Heat your soup pot to medium heat. Put in about a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan and add in the bowl of carrots, onion, celery and leeks. Mix together with a wooden spoon and let cook for about 5-10 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Also add your herbs. Add in your cup of white wine, keep the heat going so it reduced the alcohol properly. Let this cook together for about 8 minutes. Then add in your chicken broth, let it cook until you see it start boil.
While that finishes cooking, in another pot boil your potatoes until soft. Chop your sausage and then once both are finished add the sausage and potatoes to the soup mixture.
Let all of the ingredients simmer for about 20 minutes to an hour. If you have more time let it cool a bit longer. The longer it sits the better it will taste. Finally, add more salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread and a dollop of fresh cream or fresh vegan yogurt. Enjoy!