Winter Warmth: Potato & Leek Soup with Roasted Balsamic Root Vegetables

With the Holidays behind us, and January’s winter storms blowing through the Bay, it’s time to look towards filling warming soups. Yet it’s also time to return to healthier eating with hearty winter vegetables that can currently be found at the Farmers Market.
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This past week end at the Ferry Building we discovered a basket of loose heirloom radishes and bundles of baby carrots. At another stand we found mounds of giant leeks. The idea of a soup that used them while also keeping those vibrant colors alive began to form. This recipe keeps those root vegetables whole to accent a hearty soup flavored with some turkey stock from Thanksgiving. Use whatever stock you prefer.
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  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 pound radishes
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups stock
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus as needed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Dice potatoes and onion roughly and toss in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned.
  2. Trim stems off carrots and radishes. Toss in olive oil and roast in a shallow pan until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Reserve pan.
  3. Clean and trim leeks. Slice in ¼ inch half moons. Place leeks in a large bowl of water and mix thoroughly to allow dirt to settle to bottom. Use a sieve to remove leeks from water without taking the settled dirt.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter with an equal volume of olive oil. Add drained leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook until halved in volume. Add potatoes and onions and mix well. Add stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.
  5. Simmer for at least one hour. Using either a regular or hand held blender, puree until almost smooth but leaving some chunks.
  6. Just prior to serving, heat olive oil in pan that vegetables were roasted in. Stir in flour and cook until it turns a deep blonde color. Mix in milk and simmer over medium heat until it thickens. Mix into soup and allow it to thicken.
  7. In a medium saucepan, mix roasted vegetables and vinegar. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are warmed through.
  8. Ladle soup and garnish bowls with vegetables and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

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