Potato Leek Soup and Chocolate Brownies

Photo Credit: Jasenlee via WikiCommons

Cindy Farny-Mallett

Full Moon Fiesta Soup and Brownies

It’s not too difficult to throw a dinner party, but imagine cooking a meal for 150 people, and not just any crowd—hungry people on skis. This is precisely the labor of love undertaken by Telluride local Cindy Farny-Mallett each year during her annual full moon fiesta. For the past four years (this will be her fifth), she has combined her culinary expertise with her passion for the outdoors to host this whimsical nighttime party on the network of Nordic ski trails on the Valley Floor. On one magical evening each January, under the light of the full moon, Farny-Mallett conjures up a belly-warming feast. 
“I couldn’t do this without the help of a great crew.  I’m lucky I have lots of friends,” says the chef.  She makes 25 gallons of soup on an inherited six-burner stove. In order to feed so many skiers, the recipe for her famous Full Moon Soup calls for two cases of leeks, the 100 pounds of potatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper and lots of cream.  “The kids love it,” says Farny-Mallett. “It’s the color of the moon.”

Full Moon Soup


6 potatoes

4 leeks

2 quarts chicken stock

2 cups cream

salt and pepper

olive oil

Wash and slice the leeks, then sauté in a little olive oil until they start getting soft. Add peeled, chopped potatoes and chicken stock. Cook until the potatoes are very soft so that they are easy to puree. Put the hot soup in a blender (or a Foley Food Mill, if you are cooking outdoors without electricity) to make it smoother—just be careful not to get burned. Add the cream, then salt and pepper to taste. Says Farny-Mallett: “This is an approximate recipe, because when you usually make 25 gallons at a time, trying to make 10 cups is a little different!”

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3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 large eggs

4 cups baker’s sugar

1 pound of butter, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 17”x12”x1” baking pan (this is half of a sheet tray). Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir to mix the ingredients. Cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla in a separate bowl until well blended.

Add the flour/cocoa mixture until all the dry ingredients are moist and blended, but do not over-mix. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared (greased and floured) pan. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, until the brownies are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool 30 to 40 minutes before cutting.