I’m not a big fan of April Fools’ Day pranks (probably because I’m usually the butt of the joke), but if one involved delicious food, I think I could get my head around that. Such is the case with a special lunch and dinner at Local Roots Cafe on Thursday, April 1.
At both lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner (5 to 9:30 p.m.), the cafe, which specializes in locally sourced ingredients, will serve its regular menus, with the addition of several specials with an April Fools’ theme. Chef Josh Smith said he plans to start with standard dishes but prepare them in such a way that you won’t be sure what you’re seeing on your plate. It will be a surprise for the senses. If you are looking for something different and fun, head on out there. And don’t forget the cafe is planning a big move to 1314 Grandin Road (along the same strip as the theater) this summer.
On another topic, I recently learned of a wonderful Web site for friends and family who are organizing meals for a loved one in need. It is called Lotsa Helping Hands. You can sign in and create a free “community,” set up dates on a calendar when the person needs meals and invite others to sign up and take a meal date. We used it to organize meals for a friend who is recuperating after surgery, and it has been very convenient.
For my contribution, I took advantage of what might have been the last good soup day on Sunday and made a pot of soup. Since my friend is still recovering and she had various family members to feed, including children, I didn’t want to choose a recipe with too much acid or spice. Potato soup seemed to fit the bill, and I hadn’t used leeks and feta in my potato soup before, so I decided to put that little spin on it.
It turned out really well. I don’t think I’ll make potato soup without leeks again. Took me long enough, huh? I’ll attach the recipe below. Special thanks to blog reader Debbie, who offered me some advice for this recipe.
Potato, Leek and Feta soup
Equivalent of 5 large (as in Russet-sized) potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1 large leek (white and pale green part only), sliced
2 (16 oz. each) cartons chicken stock
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse potatoes, cover with cold water and boil until tender. Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid.
2. In the hot potato pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until just tender.
3. Whisk flour into butter and leeks until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Add potatoes and milk or cream. Bring to a simmer.
4. Salt and pepper to taste. You can let this simmer for a little while to make the potatoes more tender and fall apart. I used my stick blender to puree some of the potatoes for extra thickening, but I like to leave about half of the potato chunks whole.
5. Stir in feta cheese about 10 minutes before serving. If your soup needs any extra thinning, use the leftover potato stock.
Do you use a different recipe for potato soup? How would you change this?