Hygge, the cold-weather lifestyle of embracing comfort and well-being is something I can get behind 100%. Maybe it’s the freezing weather, or the stacks of adorable wraps at Target, or the new winter line that Joanna Gaines has there, but I am HERE for comfort. Maybe I always was…seeing as how my strongest recipes lean heavily on cream, potatoes, and butter.
But I’m off topic. Today is the day I’m sending you two perfect dinner recipes from my heart to yours. These are some of our very favorite family recipes, the kind I can’t wait to pull out when it’s a bleak evening and everyone feels a little run-down.
First, I should probably confess that I’m addicted to potatoes, and my single semester abroad to London did absolutely nothing to lessen this affliction. We lived with an Irish family, and I quickly learned that potatoes were a valuable staple for every meal. Plus, I was introduced to Potato Leek Soup. It’s not super popular here, stateside, and I’m just not sure why. Maybe it’s the lack of meat? I can fix that.
Potato Leek Soup with a Touch of Bacon
The trick with potato leek soup is that there is no trick. It’s such an easy meal it’s kind of ridiculous.
Leeks do need to cook down, and when you first pour them into the pot, they will be at the top. But within 5 or so minutes, the leeks will reduce to this:
- 1 box of low-salt chicken broth
- 2-6 pieces of bacon
- 4 pounds of white or gold potatoes
- 4 leeks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbs of butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- three sprigs of thyme
- two bay leaves
- Trim the dark green off the leeks, and soak in a large bowl of water, making sure to separate the rings to disturb and remove any remaining dirt. (A great job for a kid!)
- Remove leeks from water and set on a paper towel or three.
- Peel and chop three to four cloves of garlic
- Peel and quarter the potatoes
- In a dutch oven, or similar heavy bottomed pot, sear the strips of bacon and remove, setting aside on a paper towel.
- Once the bacon is removed, add a little butter (2 tbs is fine) to the pan, and let it melt.
- Add the chopped garlic for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant
- Add the leeks to the pot/dutch oven (the dutch oven should still be at medium/med-high), stirring occasionally until tender.
- Add potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and then cover in the chicken broth.
- Turn the heat up to high until it boils, then cover the pot and turn the temp down to low.
- Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender
- Remove from heat, blend the soup with an immersion blender and add the cream.
- Taste test, add salt and pepper as needed.
- When serving, crumble some of the bacon over each bowl.
Now if your partner is anything like mine, he will throw a giant big baby fit that you are having soup for dinner. (Yes, even if the soup is velvety creamy potato goodness with bacon crumbles on top.) I am pretty good at handling this situation so I’m going to tell you what to do. You ready?
You make a sandwich for the guy (or girl) to go with said soup. But if you’re going to make a sandwich, it should be as comforting as the soup, right? How about a grilled cheese sandwich? On sourdough? With Gruyere?
Yeah, that’ll do.
Grilled Gruyere Sourdough Sandwich
I’m a thousand percent sure it doesn’t get any more “wine country” than a sourdough sandwich with Gruyere cheese, am I right? It’s certainly a little more effort than the average grilled cheese, but it’s worth it, especially if you have left over ham, which we did when we made this recipe for the blog.
- Grilled Gruyere and Sourdough Sando2018-01-02 07:40:57Write a reviewPrep Time10 minCook Time10 minTotal Time20 minPrep Time10 minCook Time10 minTotal Time20 min1245 calories208 g65 g17 g66 g4 g464 g2673 g10 g0 g12 gNutrition FactsServing Size464gAmount Per ServingCalories 1245Calories from Fat 150% Daily Value *Total Fat 17g26%Saturated Fat 4g19%Trans Fat 0gPolyunsaturated Fat 8gMonounsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 65mg22%Sodium 2673mg111%Total Carbohydrates 208g69%Dietary Fiber 9g35%Sugars 10gProtein 66gVitamin A0%Vitamin C1%Calcium17%Iron82%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.Ingredients
- Sliced sourdough bread (I prefer Safeway's rounds, but the Basque Boulangerie brand at Oliver's is also delicious and a much easier shape to manage).
- Gruyere preferably not yet shredded, about 6 ounces.
- Ham (optional)
betacalories1245fat17gprotein66gcarbs208gmoreWine Country Moms Blog https://www.citymomsblog.com/
- Lay the bread out on some paper towels or a sheet pan
- Shred the Gruyere
- Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread, on the side facing up
- One at a time (or on a flat griddle you can do them all) lay the bread out, mayonnaise side down on a pan (medium heat).
- Sprinkle the now shredded Gruyere on the open face of the sandwich slices in the pan.
- (If you have ham, make sure you add it now, on top of the cheese, and sprinkle a little more cheese on top of that to act as a glue
- Cover the cheese with the remaining slices, mayonnaise side UP.
- Once cheese begins to melt, flip the sandwich and cook until both sides are a crispy golden brown.
Enjoy with your soup and sando and hygge on!