2 large leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tbsp (15 mL) salted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1½ tsp (7 mL) smoked paprika
2 lbs (1 kg) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (see Cook’s Tip)
4 cups (1 L) unsalted chicken stock
1 can (14.5 oz or 398 mL) no-salt-added Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups (375 mL) 2% milk
3 oz (90 g) extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
6 tbsp (90 mL) reduced-fat sour cream
Snipped fresh chives and additional smoked paprika (optional)
1. Cut leeks in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Place into Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl and swish in cold water to remove dirt. Drain leeks using medium Stainless Mesh Colander.
2. Melt butter in (8-qt./7.6-L) Stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, pressed garlic and paprika to Stockpot; cook, uncovered, 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock; cook, covered, 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally. Add beans; cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Remove Stockpot from heat; cool 5 minutes.
3. Carefully ladle one-third of the potato mixture into blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour blended potato mixture into Stainless (6-qt./6-L) Mixing Bowl. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
4. Return blended potato mixture to Stockpot; stir in milk. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until simmering. Stir in cheese, salt and black pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish each serving with sour cream, chives and additional paprika, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings
7 Ways to Make Lentil Soup
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes
Lentils make soup making easy—they cook quickly and are incredibly tasty. And unlike many lentil soups, which are so thick they put people off completely, this one is nicely balanced with some simple vegetables. The lentils break down a bit during the cooking to give the soup a hearty consistency, but you can purée it if you prefer. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
***1 onion, chopped
***1 carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
***1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water
Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, just a minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until brightly colored and hot, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. (At this point, you may cool and refrigerate the soup, covered, for up to 2 days; reheat gently.) Add more stock if the soup is too thick. Just before serving, taste, sprinkle with salt and more pepper if needed, and serve.
Lentil Soup with Lemon and Dill. About a minute before serving, stir in 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste.
Lentil Soup with Cumin. Add 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin along with the bay leaf. Add a squeeze of lime or orange juice, if you like, and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro.
Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika. Add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika along with the bay leaf. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives if you like.
***Lentil Soup with Sausage or Bacon. Start with about 1/4 pound chopped sausage, bacon, or pancetta and cook it in the soup pot until slightly crisp before adding the other ingredients in Step 1. Drain the fat if you like or use it and omit the olive oil.
***Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic. Omit the onion, carrot, and celery. Prepare and peel 1 or 2 heads of roasted garlic. In Step 1, cook the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two, mashing and stirring until fragrant.
Lentil Soup with Dried Tomatoes. Omit the onion, carrot, and celery. In Step 1 cook 1/2 cup dried tomatoes (preferably not oil-packed) and a tablespoon of minced garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until both are softened and fragrant. Proceed with the recipe.