The original recipes I post on Catfish's Dishes get here a variety of ways. Some are long held family recipes, the stuff I was making long before I ever felt like writing about it. Some were once other peoples' recipes, but have mutated so much under my watch that I feel fully justified in calling them my own. Some are even proper "blog" recipes--things I created entirely for the purpose of writing about them, the sort of dish that involves planning, research, and possibly even failed attempts.
But like I said, sometimes it's luck. Sometimes you just go into the kitchen and cook, and what you end up with is spectacular. Really, all of my best soups are happy accidents, but when I realized a simple mathematical formula that had eluded me (multiple posts in one week + pictures not taken with a cell phone = somewhat profitable blog) I took the proactive step of keeping my camera in my kitchen at all times. Last night, my anticipation finally rewarded me. I had some leeks on hand, but I'd used the last of my potatoes making home fries, so a traditional leek soup was out. But thanks to the cast-offs of friends who garden, I did have some sweet potatoes as well as a few other root vegetables. With nothing but a patchwork of ideas in mind, I set out to see if sweet potatoes played as well with leeks as their more common relative does.
First, you'll need to prepare the leeks. Slice them thinly, working your way up from the root end until it branches off, and discard the tough upper green shoots. Leeks are notoriously bad about holding onto dirt, so be sure to rinse them thoroughly before cooking.
|Cumin seeds add much more flavor than ground.|
Once they have softened, it is time for the root vegetables. Add four cups of thinly sliced sweet potato, along with a cup each of beets and carrots, also sliced thin. Although the texture--and a lot of the subtle flavors--of this soup come from the sweet potato, the beets are a dominant presence even at a 1-4 ratio. Add four cups of vegetable broth and let the soup cook away at medium heat for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, the flavor of the soup will be dominated by the beets and the jalapeno, but that will change as we move on to the next step.
|Don't let the orange fool you. Beets will dominate the final color of this soup.|
|You can make it as smooth/chunky as you like.|