Sunday, October 4, 2015

04 October 2015




I am finally getting around to posting another Bill's Sunday Supper after my two week trip to Asia. I was in Hong Kong, China and Bangkok to art direct a photo shoot of one of Grant Design Collaborative's clients. The client, Decca, manufactures and sells high end furniture for hotels, offices and homes. Their products are beautifully crafted, and it was very intriguing to see their craftsmen making furniture by hand. While there, I stayed in their guest quarters which are more like a hotel. In China, their cooks prepared three meals a day, and the food was delicious. I posted a lot of these dishes on my Facebook page, along with other food I had in Bangkok. While the trip required many long, hot days in their factory and a brutal 22 hour flight to get there, it was a great adventure. As they say, however, there's no place like home, so I am happy to be back in Canton, Georgia!

After the hot and humid days in Asia, the cooler, Fall weather is refreshing. We spent last night in Blue Ridge to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend, Steve Martin. It was even cooler and rainier in the mountains, and we always have a wonderful time when we visit. So the rainy, Fall weekend required a piping hot pot of soup for tonight's Sunday Supper! Since we got back from Blue Ridge after noon today, I needed to cook a soup that was somewhat simple, so I opted for a classic Potato Leek soup. I have always loved cooking this hearty soup ever since I saw Julia Child make it when I was a kid. Over the years, I've added my own touches, but her recipe is the standard. Of course,
I had to make grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with the soup, so I added some crispy prosciutto di Parma and used Ciabatta rolls for
the bread.

The Potato Leek soup certainly hit the spot this evening, and the prosciutto and aged Vermont grilled cheese sandwiches were the perfect accompaniment. On our way to Blue Ridge yesterday, we stopped by Fainting Goat vineyard in Jasper. We really liked one of their red wines, 1812, so we bought a bottle and had it with dinner.

I am still trying to catch up at the office, and I am off to New Orleans for the AIGA Design Conference on Thursday. While I'm not looking forward to being away from home another weekend, I always enjoy the NOLA food scene, and it will be nice to catch up with some old friends. Here's hoping your Fall is filled with delicious food and new adventures!

The Menu:

- Potato and Leek Soup with Bacon and Chives

- Grilled Aged Vermont Cheddar and Prosciutto di Parma
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


The Recipe – Classic Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredients:

2 medium leeks
2 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 strips bacon, chopped, plus more for topping
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons snipped chives and extra bacon for topping

Directions:

Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped bundle with kitchen twine and set aside.

Halve the white part of the leeks lengthwise, and rinse well under cold running water. Slice the leeks thinly, crosswise, and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved bouquet garni of herbs, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart.

Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. If you have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup directly in the pot. Stir in the heavy cream and sour cream and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives and crispy bacon pieces sprinkled over the top.

Makes approximately six small servings.

The Table was Set for a Perfect Fall Birthday Celebration in
Blue Ridge, Georgia!



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