Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creamy Leek Soup with Poblano Essence

Every so often, I surprise my self with some concoction that I've just made that I just have to write it down. This one was so good (in fact, so good I ate it all before I took pictures) that I just had to share it. When I make it again, I will add pictures here. But for now, close your eyes and imagine a light, yet creamy broth, bright green leeks, carrots...the aroma wafting up from the steaming bowl...

Hey! **tap, tap, tap** Open your eyes now or you'll miss the recipe!

So anyway, in the dead of winter, here in northern Illinois, I created a soup that is light and still warms away the chill. A soup with a sweet, buttery taste, made without butter. A heartier version could include a little heavy cream and garnish with some crispy bacon, mmm. But since it's February, and most of us are trying to get rid of the holiday weight, the lighter version is perfect. I hope you try this one.

Creamy Leek Soup with Poblano Essence
(The poblano pepper is only used for flavor in this recipe. It will be removed before serving.)

1 large leek- cut into large chunks and rinsed
1/2 large carrot- thinly shaved into 3 inch strips
1/2 tsp roasted garlic- minced
1-15 ounce can of light coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar-free/salt-free dried herb blend (such as Mrs. Dash's Original Blend)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp sherry
1/2 large poblano pepper- cut length-wise and seeded
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
ground sea salt and ground peppercorn blend- to taste

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the leeks and carrots and saute until tender but still bright in color. Add the roasted garlic, herb blend, ginger, sea salt, and peppercorn blend. Give a good stir to incorporate. Add the coconut milk and poblano pepper (do not chop the pepper!) and increase the heat slightly. Bring to a boil then quickly reduce the heat and let simmer, tasting often (no double-dipping!) until the desired "heat" from the pepper is achieved. Remove the pepper and discard. Serve immediately. Wipe mouth, rub tummy, pat yourself on the back!

mmm, good.