Being 95 degrees outside in Alabama, I was trying to think up something to cook for the wife. The heat must have gotten the better of me because I decided hot soup would be perfect. I went scouring the internet for recipes and finally came upon a recipe by the great Alton Brown on the Food Network site here. I whipped it up (making a few adjustments based on comments on the site), and I must say it turned out fantastic (be even better if the mercury was at least below 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
Below is the final recipe that I used. This was my first experience with leeks, and I was pleased to find the following short video on how to clean and prepare leeks for cooking.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 4 medium leeks)
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 4 medium)
- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (approximately 2 potatoes)
- 2 cups fresh snap beans (or green beans), broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 cups yellow zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
- 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can northern beans (washed and drained)
- 6 cups chicken broth (would have used 8 cups but ran out of space in my pot)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ~1 lemon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.
- Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, and snap beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, northern beans, and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes (the snap beans took quite a while to soften up).
- Remove from heat and if desired to thicken the soup up, use a stick blender to puree a small portion of the soup
- Add the parsley and lemon juice and season to taste with kosher salt
- Serve immediately.
The simmering soup prior to being stick blended looked like this: