Happy April everyone!
We just got back from a fantastic wedding in Louisville, which we also made into a mini-vacation where we toured the Bourbon Trail and conducted some interviews for a project Reid is working on…more on that in the future.
In the mean time, we wanted to share some of the highlights of our trip to bluegrass country, and then we’ll tell you about what we made when we came home.
Obviously, we sampled a fair amount of America’s native spirit while in the Kentucky area with visits to many of the distilleries and to one of the bottling plants, where we got to try bourbon straight out of the barrel before it was cut – from the barrel pictured below, in fact. Needless to say, this was a strong drink.
Since we stayed at Louisville’s historic Seelbach Hotel, we also made sure to sample its namesake cocktail, the Seelbach Cocktail. For those of us who aren’t ready for a full glass of bourbon neat, the Seelbach Cocktail is a great entry point.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Seelbach, as everyone at the hotel will tell you, the bar there was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s favorite watering hole when he was stationed in Louisville, and it’s the inspiration for part of The Great Gatsby. Other famous guests at the hotel include Al Capone, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR.
We also dove into the food culture, and it was tasty! Kentucky really knows how to fry things. I think every meal we had there had some fried element to it, or at the very minimum it was sure to have a pork product. One of my favorite snacks there was this plate of dill fried pickle chips from The Old Talbott Tavern. What’s not to love about fried salty deliciousness dipped in some sort of Russian dressing / mayo sauce?
With that said, by the time we got home we were ready for some lighter fare. We both were craving something suitable for this warm Spring weather we’ve been having, and we both thought of leeks because (a) they are in season now and delicious and (b) they are healthy and they have some digestion assisting properties, which is excellent following a long weekend of fried foods. And, since our Vitamix is still a relatively new toy, we knew we just had to do something with that as well. So, why not make some potato leek soup?
While it sounds perhaps more complicated to make than a chili where you can just throw everything into the pot and wait, potato leek soup is incredibly easy to make. You only have a few key ingredients and minimal steps.
- potatoes (we used 2 in this recipe)
- leeks (we used 4 medium-sized ones)
- 2 tbs butter
- milk (we used whole because we had it, but you can also use skim, heavy cream, chicken stock, or water depending on your preferences; the amount also will depend on how thick you want your soup)
- salt & pepper
The steps are simple as well:
1. Chop up your leeks and wash them well (soaking removes most of the dirt caught in the rings).
2. Peel and slice your potatoes.
3. Throw your leeks and potatoes into a pan with the butter and cook until soft…about 10-15 minutes in this case.
4. Take the softened leeks and potatoes and put them into your blender. Add your liquid (in our case milk) to get it to your desired thickness, and your salt and pepper.
5. Blend away (all hail the Vitamix!)!
After about 30 minutes of minimal work, you end up with a creamy, healthy but filling soup. We served ours with a salad and some toasted bread.
While we fully admit that depending on how you make this recipe, this is perhaps not the lightest of light soups. With that said, it has simple ingredients and you can control how heavy it is, so it has potential. For us, it was the lightest thing we’ve had since last Wednesday and a delicious, easy homemade dinner.
Let us know if you make this (with any variations too!) and how it turns out.