November 09, 2010

The Absolute Best Potato-Leek Soup - Oh no, is it paleo?

No, it's not paleo.  Unless you were a starving paleolithic man or woman who happened to find an odd little tuber growing under ground and decided to give it a try.  Lucky for me, my ancestors seemed to have adapted somewhere along the line to eating nightshades of all kinds.  I can eat eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and even potatoes without any effect.  I know, I know, the potatoes are full of polysaccharides of glucose-y starch.  But you know what? I have completely given up gluten in my life (going on three years of gluten freedom, said like an alcoholic reciting how many years, months, days it has been since my last "drink").  I have eliminated most sugary foods.  I actually prefer coffee with just almond milk now, no sugar.  I prefer dark chocolate over any other (to be fair, I always did).  So, if I want to indulge in a little potato goodness once in a very rare while, I think my insulin regulators will be able to handle the occasional influx of glucose overload.

Even so, my potato consumption is limited.  I've had potatoes around long enough to sprout long tendrils of new growth and I've even saved them long enough to plant in the spring.  About two months ago, I bought a small bag of very small red potatoes locally grown.  The bag had maybe 15 tiny potatoes in it. I used 8 of them tonight in the soup.  I ate about 1/3 of the pot, so I figure I had about 5 golfball sized potatoes, skin removed, and boiled until soft.  I'll survive (and quite happily, thank you).  The only other time I indulge in my potato habit is when I go to Five Guys.  Come on, I'm already forgoing the bun, so I share a serving of fresh cut fries with my husband and daughter and call it a day.

What's nice about this occasional indulgence is that somehow the potato tastes even that much better.  If you have never had a locally grown heirloom breed of a potato, well, you just haven't had a potato.  It's very much like comparing grocery store tomatoes to those picked ripe from the vine, ripened in the sun to a sweet, tart, tangy goodness like no other.

So that brings me to today's recipe post. As usual, I decide on what to cook for dinner by rummaging around the kitchen and fridge seeing what's available.  Tonight, I found the eight potatoes, just starting to send out hopeful sprouts.  I found about a 1/2 cup of leftover steamed spinach and one large leek in the veggie bin.  I had pork chops out on the counter thawing (more about those in a minute).  The recipe for the soup is on the recipe page, but can I just tell you that this was possibly the best potato-leek soup I have ever had?  Seriously, hands down.  Check out the pic - the recipe will explain the emerald green color.  The key to not overindulging?  Make a small batch, so you don't feel the need to eat potato soup for the rest of the week.  This recipe makes about 2 - 3 regular servings.  If you feel too stressed about eating potatoes, just substitute turnips.
 To counter the carb-ful soup, I made pork chops.  Not just any pork chops, but chops from the pastured happy pig we just bought and split with a friend of ours.  These are not your tasteless, dry, hard store-bought chops.  Oh no, these babies are unbelievably moist with fat that is not tough, but melts in your mouth and forms crispy edges under the broiler.  And that is all I had to do - I placed the chops in a shallow pan and put them under a broiler, flipping once through the process.  I sprinkled them with a bit of sea salt and that was it.  I almost couldn't believe how good they tasted. I thought the dog was going to die of apoplexy over the smell. He got the bone.  Lucky dog.

I think the pic is upside down.  Sorry about that!
Check out the recipe page for the soup!

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