Wednesday, February 29, 2012

greenhorn gourmande is on a budget- episode 3

Hello WIAW friends, this post is part of my week long series on how I manage to feed myself and my boyfriend for about $60 a week in New York city.  See the previous posts <<here>> and <<here>>.

In my last two posts I discussed the importance of planning and meal types (less meat more grains).  Today's post is about the importance of selecting recipes that have ingredients in common so that you waste less, and save more.

Now some may think that this will involve a lot of repetition, but it doesn't need to be the case!  Today's recipe is Roasted Garlic, Leek, and Purple Potato soup.  Believe it or not, it was made with ingredients left over from my last two posts.  



Roasted Leek and Purple Potato soup


Let me explain.  That tasty bread stick perched on the edge of my bowl is made from the other half of the pizza dough recipe I had made and froze.  I used the chicken carcass (after picking off the remaining meat) to make a delicious homemade chicken stock.  

I'm actually quite pleased with myself over this stock.  I used the tops of the leeks, which are inedible, giving me the perfect base for a leek soup.  Don't be disturbed by the white layer that sometimes forms on homemade stocks.  It's the gelatin and fat from the chicken that makes homemade stocks so rich and flavorful.

These strange beauties are purple potatoes.  I had read about them online- they apparently taste just like regular potatoes, so when I saw them at Whole Foods for $0.99lb (a whopping $0.50 less than all the other varieties) I figured, why not?

I'm glad I did, I can confirm that they do in fact taste like your everyday spud, with the added bonus of an awesome hue.  

Okay, I've put you through enough ;)  On to the recipes!

Roasted Garlic and Leek Soup

*This soup calls for two heads of roasted garlic.  Don't be intimidated by that amount, roasting really mellows the flavor and makes them subtly sweet.  To roast simply slice off the top of the head, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes at 400F.

2 leeks, tops removed, thoroughly cleaned, and diced-$1.60
2 heads worth of roasted garlic cloves*- $0.50
3 large potatoes (about 1.5lbs), cubed (if you want a perfectly smooth soup you can peel them.)-$1.40
1 tbsp butter-$0.10
5 cups homemade chicken stock- $0.50
kosher salt and black pepper-$0.10
1/3 cup half and half- $0.25
3 strips bacon for garnish (optional)- $0.80
Total cost: $5.25

1.  In a large pot or dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat, and add the leeks cooking until softened.  Next add the potatoes, garlic, chicken stock, and 1 tsp of salt and a 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Bring mix to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
2.  Remove pot from heat and allow to cool slightly.  With an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth and return to a low heat.  Stir in the half and half and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve garnished with a half strip of bacon.
Serves 6.

Happy WIAW everyone!!!  As always thanks to the wonderful Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting!


  1. I love all the weird purple vegies I've been seeing on WIAW's lately!! So cool.

    1. I know right? When I was cutting into the potatoes I couldn't help but think they were like some strange alien tubers.

  2. The soup sounds delicious! I'd need to use veggie stock, but I'm sure that would work, too!

    1. Oh, veggie stock would definitely work! You can still use the leek tops + loads of other goodies.

  3. I love homemade pizza! I think it tastes so much better than the greasy fast food ones.
    I've never seen purple potatos before! I'll need to keep my eye out for them! :)
    Happy WIAW!

    1. I totally agree about pizza. Homemade is way better because you can control the quality of the ingredients!

  4. I love purple potatoes, they are so pretty! The soup sounds great!

  5. Ooo, I'd love to try purple potatoes, they look so cool! And I'm completely guilty of saving money by eating the same thing over and over for a work--maybe you'll inspire me to use the same ingredients but shake it up a little!

    1. There's nothing wrong with eating the same thing, but it is nice to have a change of pace. I'm glad I could help!

  6. that soup looks delicious! i've been wanting to try purple potatoes, you have definitely inspired me!

  7. I actually had purple potatoes tonight for the first time. Tastes just like regular potatoes. My 5 year old said they were "more crunchy!"

  8. What a pretty purple soup! I thought it was purple cauliflower at first. Those are some of the most purple potatoes I've ever seen! Great job re-using ingredients - such an easy way to save $$.

  9. I have yet to experiment with purple veggies aside from maybe eggplant. But that soup sounds fantastic I loveeee roasted garlic!


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