One Saturday morning I saw some wonderful fresh leeks at the farmers’ market and could not resist. Jerri approved the purchase with the condition that I do something with them. I checked out leek soup recipes, made some modifications and came up with this version. It is easy to make, tastes even better the second day, and is a wonderful cold weather treat.
Leeks are related to onions and garlic but have a very mild flavor. Combined with potatoes, leeks produce a soup that is absolutely delicious. Leeks are sometimes used instead of onions to add flavor to soup stocks without overpowering the other ingredients in the stock. That’s what leeks do in leek and potato soup–let you enjoy the flavor of the potatoes, chicken broth and cream along with a hint of onion.
We usually make this soup a couple of times a year, in midsummer when leeks first appear at the farmers’ markets and then in the late fall when leeks are still available at the markets and the days are cool. Even if you count the time spent simmering the vegetables in the broth, you can put a big pot of delicious soup on the table in under two hours.
4 or 5 medium potatoes (about 1 lb.)
3 or 4 leeks (about 1 lb.)
2 T butter
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup whipping cream
Parsley for garnish
Peel and dice the potatoes. Wash the leeks thoroughly, remove the roots and trim the green part so about 1 1/2 inches of the light green remain. Cut each leek in half and peel back the green part to make certain that no sand remains inside. Rinse if necessary, then slice the leeks thinly.
Heat the butter in an eight quart pot and sauté the leeks slowly until they are wilted but not browned. Add the potatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Simmer for an hour. Puree the vegetables in a food mill or blender and return them to the pot. Mix the flour into the cold water and stir into the soup.
Add the cream and bring the soup to a simmer for five minutes to cook the flour and let the soup thicken. Check the seasoning and add salt or pepper if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serve with sandwiches for lunch or as a first course for dinner. Makes enough for four hungry hunters or ten dinner guests.
NOTE: Don’t even think of not using heavy cream for this recipe. It’s just one cup in three quarts of soup.