Potato Leek Soup, Turkish cooking class and a new cantina
A recipe for potato leek soup, an old favorite gets a new update and cooking classes kick off the New Year.
Snow days are made for soup. Make a pot in the morning and you can keep yourself warm all day.
Warm soup, hot tea, a roaring fire and cookies hot out of the oven — this is the elixir for bone-chilling winter weather.
For winter soups, we love tomato bisque, chicken noodle and turkey-mushroom. If you like a heartier soup with more heft than broth, try a pasta fagioli soup, beef stew or a black bean chili.
Potato soup might be the best of both worlds. It has chunks of veggies but a smooth base that’s good enough to mop up with crusty French bread.
Consider this potato-leek soup the official soup of snow days.
Potato Leek Soup
Serves 4 to 6
½ pound leeks, cleaned, trimmed and sliced ¼-inch thick (white part only)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 pound potatoes (peeled and cut into ½ -inch pieces)
3 cups water
1 ¼ cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups half-and-half
Green onion or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
In a sauté pan, cook the leeks in the olive oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the soy sauce to the leeks after they have begun to caramelize. Continue cooking for a few more minutes to make sure the leeks are a uniform caramel color.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, place the leeks, their pan drippings, the potatoes, water, chicken broth, salt, pepper, the bay leaf and thyme. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are soft. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Process the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender) to a coarse puree.
Return the soup to the pot. Whisk in the half-and-half. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then remove from heat. Serve hot with a garnish of green onion or parsley.
El Rancho Grande Cantina
Looking for a new place to eat?
El Rancho Grande certainly isn’t new. The restaurant has been around since 1953. But walk upstairs, and you’ll find a recent addition: a cantina with its own menu, bar and party room.
The cantina specializes in Mexican street food, with street tacos and enchiladas, Mexican shrimp cocktail, chicharrones (deep-fried pork skins) and a special weekly torta. The bar has margaritas, of course, and specialty drinks, including the Jalapeño Loco.
El Rancho Grande is located at 1629 E. 11th St.
Raindrop Turkish House
The people at the Raindrop Turkish House understand that food is one way to bridge cultures and to cultivate friendships between diverse groups of people. That’s why their cooking classes are such a key part of their outreach.
Cooking classes are hands-on, with demonstrations of Turkish dishes, along with other international foods. After the meal is prepared, participants and the cook eat together, and everyone leaves with the recipes.
Classes are $15 each. Sessions are from 3-5 p.m. on Saturdays at 4444 W. Houston St. in Broken Arrow. RSVP early to save your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 918-806-6022.
Upcoming class cuisines include Turkish on Jan. 20, Feb. 17 and April 14; Italian on Feb. 3; and French on March 3.