I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Potato Leek Soup

For whatever weird reason, I'd always say to myself "I am going to make this dish" every time I come across this dish on the internet. I can't say for sure how long that has been going on. At least a few years.

So yesterday I decided to "just do it". I turn to Kenji Lopez's Potato Leek Soup for guidance and I thought I would share my own general thoughts on his recipe.

1. A mix of butter and corn oil instead of 2 tablespoons of butter
2. 6 leeks instead of 2
3. Store-bought chicken stock (more on that later)
4. 3 large russet potatoes
5. 1 bay leave
6. no buttermilk (I don't have this laying around in my pantry)
7. no cream (more on that later)
8. no nutmeg (I don't have this laying around in my pantry)
9. I flavoured my stock first (see below) before adding it to the leek and potato. I then cooked everything for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker.

As with most cooking, there are a lot of "feel" that goes into it. In my opinion, whatever "timing" that was given is just for reference. I took me less than 10 minutes to soften the leeks.

Now, the stock. The stock is probably the most important ingredient of this dish. I didn't have the time to make my own chicken stock so I bought it from the store. The selection was minimal, more like, there was only 1 brand to choose from. I warmed the stock on a stock pot and tasted it. It tasted strange. There is a funny synthetic mushroom taste, like a can of you-know-what brand mushroom soup. The soup was thin and lacked flavour so I improvised by adding the following these two items - a fistful of dried anchovies and a chicken stock cube. Now before you scream at me, hear me out. I read somewhere that anchovies add umami flavour to any stock and I figured a fistful of anchovies can't hurt. It turned out to be the correct choice. Now chicken stock cube. I am not a purist. For something last minute and frill-free, I'll take it.

The surprising part of my soup is that it did not require any cream. The soup is already creamy after I blended it. Could be the extra potato in my soup. Anyway, I prefer it without the cream. I might lack some flavour but I can do without the extra fat in my diet.