Don’t even get me started on the near-90 degree weather Phoenix is experiencing this week. It’s just wrong.
I shouldn’t complain, especially after seeing friends struggling with snowy conditions elsewhere, but we went from a pleasantly cool winter to dangerously-close-to-summer in less than a blink of an eye.
I still have warm, comforting soups I want to make. Take this cabbage, leek, potato and bean soup, for example, which I recently made for #privatechefmonday. Despite the humble ingredients, it is a shockingly delicious bowl of soup.
I started with a recipe from the New York Times cooking site, but I made some significant additions. The recipient of this soup, my best friend, the chef, liked it so much she made it as a special at her restaurant. You can’t get a better endorsement than that.
Here is the original recipe I started with, the NYT Cabbage, Potato and Leek Soup. Below is my adaptation. A couple of things to note:
- This soup rocks because it has butter. Lots of butter. In fact, I cut out 2 tablespoons and it still tasted plenty buttery.
- I added celery to the mix because I love celery in soup. Heck, I love celery in anything.
- To up the protein count, making it more of a complete meal, I added cooked, white tepary beans. You can add any type of cooked beans (even canned, if you rinse well first), but consider a white bean, such as Navy or Great Northern if you don’t have tepary beans.
- I found the original soup a little flat, so I added lemon juice to brighten it. You won’t believe the power of a good squeeze of lemon. Transformative.
- Because I like a soup with a little bite, I added crushed chiltepins. Red pepper flakes would work, too.
- As with most soups, this tastes even better the next day or two, so consider making it while you’re cooking another meal.
- 4 (1/2 stick) tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large (or 3 medium) leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 8 cups unsalted (or llow-sodium) vegetable stock
- 5 medium (~ 1-1/4 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 2 cups cooked white beans (like tepary, navy, etc.)
- 3 stems fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried), plus more fresh thyme to garnish
- 2 stems fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
- 2 chiltepin chiles, crushed (or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes) -- optional
- Juice of ½ to 1 whole lemon (~ 2 to 3 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to garnish
- Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and the some of the leeks are turning a light golden color, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and add the potatoes, beans, herbs and chiles (if using). Bring to a simmer and cook until potato are tender and liquid reduces by a couple cups or so, thickening the soup slightly.
- Season with black pepper. Stir in juice of ½ a lemon. Taste and add more lemon juice, and/or salt, if desired.
- To serve, remove thyme and oregano stems. Divide soup into bowls and serve with a generous amount of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a few fresh thyme leaves.