Fun With Leftovers
I had a wonderful New Year's Day meal. Now I have all these fabulous leftovers to do something with... Day after New Year's Day I made the stir fried rice and ham thing.
On Jan. 3rd, I made this potato leek soup with bits of the leftover ham in it. It is delicious. I did this one a tad different than I usually make it. Potato Leek soup being a family favorite, I make it fairly often. As often as I find good looking leeks to make it with. :)
See all those yummy bits of leeks in that thick, rich broth? Made with no milk. This time I made a roux from the leftover oil that I sauteed the leeks in. Then I cooked the potatoes in water and mixed the two together with some chunks of ham. I actually ended up using too much roux, because now the leftover soup is too thick. Have to thin it with milk when I reheat it. No matter, its good anyway.
See? There is ham in there. I told you so.
The finished product, garnished with french fried leeks. Just cause they are wonderful, it is not necessary. The ham isn't actually necessary, either. But it was there, and I have to use it all up. No room in the freezer for leftovers... gotta get eaten now.
For those of you who would like an actual recipe... I'll do my best:
1 large, fresh leek, cleaned and chopped for sauteing
4-6 white potatoes, roughly chopped
water or vegetable broth
1/4 cup oil or fat, I used about half and half olive oil and bacon fat
1/2 or a taddy more all purpose flour
Roux is very simple to make. It's the using of it that sometimes gets folks in
trouble. You can't go wrong if you put your roux in a separate pan or bowl and
slowly stir in enough hot liquid (from your cooked potatoes, in this case)
to form a very loose paste, you can then return that paste to the pan of soup
and stir gently over med/low heat until it bubbles.
Okay, saute your leeks (reserve some rings for french frying, if so desired), use the left over oil from that to make your roux. While this is happening, cook your potatoes in enough water/broth to cover until they are fork tender. Add the leeks to the pot, add any other items; ham, bacon, other cooked veggies, etc. Using the technique described above, incorporate the roux. Once the soup bubbles, it's ready to eat. Here at the very end, stir in freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. (all cream or cream-like soups can be improved with the addition of a tad of freshly grated nutmeg - it makes it taste ever so much richer). Garnish as you like; the french fried leeks, sour cream, salsa, grated cheese of your preference, whatever tickles your fancy at the moment... :)
I hope you'll enjoy.