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Wellness & Success

A Summer Dinner With SUNY, Second Course: Hot Appetizer

Teak dining table set for dinner overlooking large lake or river.

We now move on to the second course in our summer dinner recipe series. We hope you enjoyed the first course, but if you missed it, be sure to check out our collection of cold appetizer recipes and read about the culinary talents of SUNY students!

So now that we’ve started this meal, let’s move on to a hot appetizer. The salads and cold dishes have warmed up our appetites. This warm dish, a delightful soup that uses ingredients that can be farmed from many local farms across New York, will continue our journey through this summer meal and SUNY’s culinary talents.

This recipe has been provided by the culinary department at Schenectady County Community College.



Potato Leek Soup with Roasted Red Peppers and Fennel

Recipe courtesy of David E. Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts & Tourism at SCCC

The ingredients in this recipe are seasonal offerings of late summer, making this soup perfect for cool August nights, just before autumn begins. This recipe makes 8 servings.


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cup leeks, diced
  • 1 ½ cups fennel, thinly sliced
  • 4 russet potatoes, medium, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 sprig thyme, fresh
  • 1 cup half & half, heated
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste
  • ½ cup fresh chives, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat broiler. Place red peppers under broiler, turning frequently as they roast, until they blacken and char evenly on all sides. Put peppers in small bowl and cover for ten minutes. Remove from bowl and peel off the skins. Remove seeds, ribs, and stems. Chop the flesh coarsely.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the peppers, leeks, and fennel, stir to coat, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook until the leeks are tender, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, stock, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are soft enough to mash, about 25 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Keep the liquid level constant by adding more stock as necessary.
  4. Remove the thyme and discard. Strain the solids, reserving the liquid. Puree the solids with a small amount of the liquid. Return the puree to the remaining liquid and puree in food processor.
  5. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the heated cream just before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve in heated bowls garnished with chives and/or fennel fronds.

Written by Jenna Colozza

Jenna was a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media when an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo studying English literature.

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