Soups always seem like a quick and easy option, but in reality there’s usually a lot more prep work than throwing two beef patties on a Foreman Grill. This potato, cabbage, and leek soup definitely took me more than half an hour of chopping, but the result was a hearty soup that can stand alone on the dinner table.
There were a few little things in the recipe I did a little differently, but the collateral damage was minimal. I used the white, pale green, and very green parts of the leeks because I thought the more leeks, the merrier! Something else turned out to be true; the more leeks, the greener the soup. There’s always a reason why my soup never turns out like the recipe photo. Sour cream was a fine substitute for the crème fraîche, although next time I’ll have crème fraîche on hand. The near sweet burst of flavor of crème would have set off this savory soup a little better than sour cream. I also doubt the Turkish descent of the unmarked bay leaves in my spice cabinet, but the difference in the flavor of the soup wasn’t too dramatic, especially since the bay leaf only stayed in the soup for a moment.
This recipe was far from quick, but it was definitely easy. After a certain point, all I had to worry about was bringing the pot to a boil and keep an even simmer. Ladling chunky soup into the blender is always trickier than it sounds, but surprisingly, most of my soup ended up in bowls instead of on the counter or the floor this time. Garnish and serve!
The original recipe for Potato, Green Cabbage, and Leek Soup with Lemon Crème Fraîche by Maria Helm Sinskey can be found on Epicurious.com.
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Peel
2 Tablespoons Olive Butter with Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 Cups Diced Green Cabbage
3 Cups Chopped Leeks
3 Large Garlic Cloves, Pressed
3 Cups 1/2-inch Cubes Peeled Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Bay Leaf
6 Cups Low-Salt Chicken Broth
2 tables Spoons Chopped Fresh Chives
Whisk sour cream, 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 tablespoon butter with 1 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 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage; add leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 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 sour cream mixture over soup; sprinkle with chives and serve.