cooking: the Wife's favorite soup

I haven't done a cooking post in a while in spite of cooking almost nonstop for the past few weeks.  Here's a soup I threw together/made up the other night, which the Wife has proclaimed her favorite of all time.

It's a variation on this quite delicious recipe I tried a while back, which is well worth making.  The Wife's been doing a blood type diet which has eliminated her persistent stomach pains at the cost of following a dairy & gluten free regimen, which has sidelined many of 'go to' dishes and sparked a search for new standbys.  The thing I liked about the leek & bean soup in the link is it ended up being a very credible 'cream of' soup minus a drop of dairy.  Working on that theme, my version goes like this:

Baxblog Leek, Carrot & Bean Soup

3 or so good sized leeks, sliced & rinsed
4 or 5 medium carrots, diced
2 cans white beans, drained & rinsed
1 head garlic, top 1/3 chopped off.
4 cups chicken stock
3tbs butter (or olive oil, or a combination of the two)
1tsp dried sage
1tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot.  Add leeks & sprinkle with salt, sautee until translucent & beginning to brown, 10 minutes or so.  Add carrots, beans, garlic & chicken stock, simmer gently until carrots are soft but not mushy, about 25 minutes.  Scoop out garlic and discard, or squeeze out cloves & mash to a paste with a fork and return to pot.  Puree soup, either in a blender or in the pot with my favorite kitchen gadget the immersion blender.
Add seasonings & serve it up.

I go the extra step of squeezing out the garlic and adding it back- it's nearly as tasty as roasting it at a fraction of the effort.  If not, the soup will still have a nice garlic flavor from the simmering.

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