Southern Toasted Grits Soup

Some want to eat their grits; others nod their upturned noses at them. We toast the grits -- to taste nutty and buttery. But go ahead and replace with rice if the gang is just not on board. The Southern spices of coriander and paprika – along with a dash of hot -- are enough to present this as a dish Scarlett would have nodded her pert nose at approvingly…as she had enough grit for the entire Southern army!



1 tablespoon butter

1½ cups cooked grits

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 leeks, cleaned and cut into thin rings

6 cups chicken broth or stock

4 carrots, cut into ¼-inch dice

Salt and pepper

2 cups frozen peas

½ teaspoon coriander

1/8 teaspoon sweet (smoked) paprika

½ cup fresh mint leaves

Tabasco sauce, optional

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In a small skillet with Teflon™ nonstick coating, heat the butter and sauté the cooked grits just to toast lightly; remove from the pan.

In a medium soup pot with Teflon™ nonstick coating, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and leeks, stirring often, just to tenderize. Add the broth and then the carrots. Cook over medium, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste for about 10 minutes; add the peas, coriander and paprika; cook another 5 minutes. Add the mint leaves and the cooked toasted grits. Heat the grits through and serve the soup. Add a dash of the hot Southern sauce, if desired.

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