Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Potato, Green Cabbage, and Leek Soup with Lemon Crème Fraîche (or Sour Cream)

There were a couple reasons I decided to make this soup.  I wanted to make something fairly light, and one of my farmer's market purchases this week was a big head of green cabbage, so I wanted to find something to utilize some of it, while still leaving some to make Asian Slaw later this week.
Now, I could have used this cabbage for some St. Patty's Day corned beef and cabbage, but that just didn't sound very good.  I wanted some soup.

And I wanted a nice hardy soup, that I could eat for dinner.  I tried to make potato leek soup for the first time during snowmaggedon, but I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use heavy cream to cut down on the calories.

This recipe uses cabbage instead of cream (it didn't make much sense to me either - but it worked!)  The soup is super creamy!  Especially because I got to use my new gift to myself....

My new immersion blender!  Isn't it pretty?  And it worked great!  Let's be honest, the real reason I made this soup was so that I could try it out.  But totally was a good choice because this soup was SO GOOD!  I used light sour cream instead of crème fraîche because it is way cheaper and has about 1/4 of the calories.  The lemony sour cream just made this soup, and the cabbage you garnish it with is super tasty.  LOVED IT, this is one recipe I will definitely make again!! I licked the bowl clean!

Potato, Green Cabbage, and Leek Soup with Lemon Crème Fraîche (or Sour Cream)
Halved from epicurious
yield: Makes 3 servings

1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon (1/8 stick) butter, divided
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups diced green cabbage (1/2-inch dice; from about 1/4 medium head)
1½  cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; 1½ to 2 large)
1½ large garlic cloves, pressed
1½ cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3/4 pounds) (I used white potatoes because they were cheaper)
1/2 2 x 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional, I left it out)
1/2 Turkish bay leaf
3 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (for garnish)

Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer 1/2 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.
Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage; add leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind, if desired, and bay leaf. Add 3 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree soup in blender (or use an immersion blender in the original pot) until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/8 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with some of reserved sautéed cabbage. Drizzle crème fraîche mixture over soup; sprinkle with chives and serve.