Butch Cooking School, Lesson 1 – Foods for Winter

I am a believer in thinking that not knowing how to cook is akin to not knowing how to fuck. I’m not saying you have to cook well, (or even do it,) but knowing how to take care of yourself in the kitchen is something I think is an essential life skill. If you don’t know how to cook, it’s pretty easy to learn, and is something you should do – because you have to eat for the rest of your life. First try to make the things you really like – over and over until you get it down.  My goal with these cooking posts (and there will be more, promise) is to give you a couple of really easy yet impressive meals that will be delicious, mostly nutritious, and cost effective.

As it is starting to feel like the frozen tundra here in New England, soup is a perfect staple for a simple, stay at home meal. This particular soup has few ingredients, takes minimal time, can be vegan/vegetarian AND gluten free, and allows you to use kitchen “power tools.” Perfect.

Potato Leek Soup –

1 box chicken stock, or vegetable stock if vegan/vegetarian

2 leeks

3 potatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt

pepper

chopped green onions for garnish

1) Clean and chop leeks. Cut white end at tip, and cut green end just as it becomes “Stalky.” Slice down the middle which will reveal all of the many layers of leek, which like to collect dirt in the growing process. Rinse well with cold water. Chop leeks into rough 3/4 to 1 inch slices.

2) Peel and smash garlic. Cut the end where the garlic clove meets the “root, and then place under flat edge of your widest knife and well, smash it down with your fist. The peel should come right off.

3) In a large pot heat up the olive oil till it moves quickly along the bottom, but is NOT on high heat. Add leeks and garlic and saute until soft and slightly translucent but NOT browned. Browning is not the goal here. Browning equals bad soup so turn the heat down if things are moving faster than you’d like to. If using an electric stove you should probably be coasting around 3/4 on the heat dial.

4) Add a very very generous two pinches of salt (I like kosher salt,) and grind a bunch of pepper in. If you like a lot of pepper, add  more, if not so much, add less.

5) Add chopped up potatoes and stir, letting them cook with the leeks for a minute or so

6) Add box of stock

7) let cook (you can bring the heat up at this point, probably to about 6/7) until potatoes are tender

8) Turn off heat/ take off heat. If you have an immersion blender, carefully blend until creamy and smooth. If no immersion blender CAREFULLY pour soup into blender and blend until smooth. TASTE soup. Add more salt or pepper if needed.

9) Serve with chopped green onions on top. PERFECT with a slice of crusty bread.

This soup is delicious winter fare, perfect to enjoy over good conversation with a glass of wine.  ENJOY!

What is your favorite thing to cook in the winter?

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5 Responses to “Butch Cooking School, Lesson 1 – Foods for Winter”

  1. This looks great– can’t wait to try it this weekend!

    My favorite winter food is my vegan chili.

    This makes a big batch.

    In stock pot, combine 3 large cans of black beans (with liquid), 3 15 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 1 can of mexicorn, as many carrots are you feel like (i did a 1 lb bag), 3 cups of veggie stock. Heat it up.

    In a pan, heat some olive oil and toss in as much diced red pepper as you want (i did a whole large one), a handful of chipotle pepper, and heat on medium. throw it in the stock pot whenever you feel like it.

    In a second pan, i heated more olive oil, threw in a ton of chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon of cumin, squeeze a whole lime, salt and pepper to taste (i use jane’s crazy salt) 1 tablespoon of chili powder, a chopped jalapeño, and 3/4 of a sweet onion (finely chopped– i did mine in the food processor). i cooked that up until the onions were more or less burned. throw it in the stock pot.

    Stir it all. Boil w/ lid off to cook off some water. Devour with friends.

  2. Oh yeah, this is without a doubt the best winter recipe. And it can be repeated with just about any vegetable you want. Just reduce the number of potatoes and throw in a pound of sliced whatever. Broccoli, celery…

    It’s way good for you too.

    • I love that this meal is totally customizable – last month I turned broth (I generally make a large amount of chicken soup at the major Jewish holidays) into carrot-ginger soup, and I often make pho or stracciatelli out of it too!

  3. Vegan lentil, pea tomato stew: super easy so yummy
    delute 1 veggie cube in about 1 cup h20
    add 1 can precooked lentils, frozen peas, and chopped fresh tomato
    add onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne cover food with more h20
    bring to boil, thicken with 1 large scoop of whole wheat flour

    love the recipe sharing!

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