Potato Leek Quiche

Warning: Do not make this on an empty stomach! The smell will drive you crazy while it bakes.

This recipe is from the Squiche2pring Quiche Trio pages of Simply in Season. I’ve noticed that many of the vegetables available in the spring are also prevalent in the fall. In fact, the leeks were from today’s CSA pickup! The last pickup of the season, sniff.

I used the potato crust recipe, which is super easy – coarsely grate 3 C of potatoes, mix with 3 T of olive oil, and spread it on the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.

While it’s baking, you can make the filling, which is 1 1/2 C of leeks (or ramps, as wild leeks are called) and 1 C of cheese mixed together. The egg mixture is made in a separate bowl – beat together 3 eggs, 1 C of evaporated milk (or 1 C milk + 1/3 C dry milk powder), and a dash or two of salt and pepper.

When the crust is ready, put the leek/cheese mixture on first, then dump the egg mixture on top of that. I noticed the egg mixture was a bit on the stingy side so I didn’t feel the need to put MORE cheese on top (I know, what was I thinking). Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F and cook for another 25-30 minutes. If you can stand the wait, you really should let it cool for 10-15 minutes.

The verdict: A huge thumbs up from DH. “This is good! It would be great for breakfast, with bacon crumbled on top.” Yes, it was savory indeed. Lots of leeks but leeks are very mild, making this a very tasty dish.

Velvety Vegetable Soup

Today I decided to try out my new kitchen appliance: an immersion blender. The weather was perfect for it: cool, rainy, and overcast. The recipe? Velvety Vegetable Soup from Simply in Season. It’s from the spring section, which is interesting because I noticed that the vegetables are similar in the spring and autumn, at least the green ones.

vegsoupBecause I only had one leek, this was definitely an exercise in adaptation/substitution. Instead of using 4 cups of diced leeks, I used one leek, 1 bunch of green onions, and two fennel bulbs. I did have the 1 medium onion (chopped) and 1 cup of celery (although I used a lot of tops, not so much the stalk). Sauteed this in a few tablespoons of oil for 15 minutes.

Then, I added 2 t tarragon, 1 t thyme, 1 t salt, and a dash of pepper; 4 C chicken broth, and 3 C diced potatoes. You are supposed to cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, which the recipe says is 15 minutes but mine must have been stubborn because it was more than 20.

Finally, add 1 bunch of chopped spinach and simmer another 5 minutes. Now it’s time to have fun with the immersion blender (or you can use a regular blender).  As a finishing touch you can add 1/2 C milk.

This makes 4 servings, at about 259 calories per serving.

The verdict: The smell when you’re making it is heavenly. Even Troy thought so. Believe it or not, it tasted even better. I think I should have used actual celery instead of the tops because the celery flavor was a wee bit overpowering, but I could still taste a hint of fennel which was awesome.  Oh, and the Cuisinart immersion blender was a DREAM! I should have bought one of those a long time ago.