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Monday, April 25, 2011

Creamy Taro Root Potato Leek Soup with smoked Gouda






























I bought Taro root (Arbi) to make Curried Taro roots (Arbi ki Sabji) from local Indian grocer. However decided to make soup with few of these with potato and leek. My sons and I love smoked Gouda cheese, so added this to the soup to give it a light smoky flavor.

It came out pretty good. I thought it would be good post for my blog, but first I must share some information about Taro root that I gathered from wikibooks.

The taro root, as with other tubers, is recognized by other names. This tuber is also known as the dasheen, eddo and kalo in many areas of the world including West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean and Polynesian islands. This root is most well-known as the ingredient of the Hawaiian dish poi, which is mashed taro root.

The hairy outer coating on a taro root is similar to a coconut. The hairy outer layer is always removed with caution since skin irritation can arise caused by the juices secreted by the taro root. Skin irritations arising from Taro juices can be cured by applying a a mixture of table vinegar and water(1:2) on the sore part. It is recommended to use protective rubber gloves when handling this tuber. Raw taro root is toxic, so always cook it before eating.

The roots are starchy and generally treated like potato. These tubers take on a nut-like flavor when cooked. Frying, baking, roasting, boiling, or steaming them as an accompaniment to meat dishes are all common uses. Soups and stews are other dishes that taro root suits well. Taro may be pounded into a thick grey paste and used to thicken other dishes in Asian cooking. Taro roots provide a good source of fiber and supply approximately 110 Calories per adult serving.

Select tubers that are firm and hairy, with no wrinkling. Store the roots for up to one week in a cool and dry location, making sure that the roots do not dry out.

The leaves and flowers are also sometimes eaten. Taro leaves can be treated like spinach and boiled or steamed.


Here is how I made this soup:



Ingredients:



* 2 Taro roots

* 1 potato

* 3 leeks

* 1/2" piece of ginger

* 1 yellow onion

* 1/2 red onion or one shallot

* 1 tablespoon butter

* 1/4 cup all purpose flour

* 2 cups half and half or milk

* 2 tablespoon olive oil

* Pinch teaspoon white pepper

* Salt to taste

* 8 oz of smoked Gouda shredded

* Fresh ground Black pepper




Method:



* Wash, peel and chop taro roots and potato in 1" chunks.

* Wash and chop leek.

* Place all of these chopped items in a microwave safe bowl.

* Add water to this cook these three ingredients in Microwave.

* Cook them for 20 min or until taro roots and potatoes are tender.

* Take them out of microwave and set aside.

* Chop onions and ginger and set aside.

* Heat Olive oil in a deep pan.

* Add chopped onions and ginger and saute until light brown.

* Add cooked Taro roots, potato and leeks with the water that these were cooked in.

* Simmer on slow heat while you prepare white sauce as follows.

* Heat butter in a pan.

* Add flour to melted butter and add half and half or milk.

* Stir and cook on low heat until it thickens slightly.

* Add this to simmering veggies.

* Add salt and white pepper.

* Cook for 2-3 min.

* With a hand blender puree all the ingredients until soup has smooth consistency.

* Add smoked Gouda cheese.

* Cook until the cheese is melted.

* Serve hot with few sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper.


I served this for lunch with side of butter garlic sauteed Asparagus. (recipe post to follow next)


Hint:

If you don't care for or can't find Taro root, you can make potato leek soup following same recipe by just adding 2 potatoes instead of Taro roots.



Taro root description source: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Taro_Root
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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