This soup can be a base for many other cold weather or winter soups. I used this base to make a cream of asparagus soup and it can be adapted to many other “creamy” soups. Of note is that I’ve greatly reduced the use of cream to make the soup…well, creamy. I like using grated potatoes to thicken the soup.
Like many soups, the use of leeks will ensure you a superior soup and using a homemade stock is a must. I wish I could have salads all year ’round but I live in Canada and alas, tomatoes and other summer vegetables are bland at best in winter. I can wait until next summer for sweet, garden ripe tomatoes. In the meantime, it’s soup season.
Leek and Potato Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
3 leeks (white parts), rinsed well of any dirt and grit and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 Russet (starchy) potatoes, peeled
8-9 cups of chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/2 cup of cream (or evaporated milk)
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, add your olive oil over medium heat and add the chopped leeks, bay leaves and thyme and simmer while occasionally stirring for about 10-15 minutes or until the leeks have softened. Now grate your potatoes through the large holes of your box grater and stir in with the leeks. Simmer for about five minutes. If the mixture gets dry and gluey, add some water or stock.
- Add your stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
- When your soup is ready, remove the bay leaves and puree the soup with a hand blender. Add the cream (add as much or as little cream as you wish) and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with some chopped chives or a a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a crisp slice of garlic as garnish. Serve hot.
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