Monday, September 30, 2013

Potato & Leek Soup

Soup season has returned! There is no rule that says you can't enjoy soup all year long, but there is always something special about enjoying a warm bowl of soup on a cool, fall night. This potato and leek soup is the perfect mixture of heartiness and lightness. The potatoes pack their usual heavy punch, but they are outbalanced by the lighter flavors from the leeks.

Recipe yields servings 6 servings

2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large leeks, white stems only
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground thyme
1 quart small potatoes (I used Nicola from the crop share)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cream and parsley for seasoning, if desired

To a large stockpot, melt the butter. After thoroughly rinsing the leeks, finely slice the white stems only. Remove and discard the dark green leaves. Add the leeks to the melted butter and saute for about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Add the chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil. While the liquids are heating up, peel and finely dice the potatoes. Try to make them as even sized as possible, but they don't need to be perfect.

Add the potatoes to the pot and keep the heat high until the liquid reaches a rolling boil. Add a pinch or two of salt and pepper at this stage, and we can adjust the taste later on. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the potatoes to be cooked through and soft.

Remove the bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, blend together the soup until it is creamy. You want to remove all chunks and traces of potato and leek. It should be nice and smooth. Once everything has been blended together, give the soup a little taste to determine if it needs anymore salt or pepper and adjust accordingly. If your soup is too salty at this point (lets just say you didn't listen when I said 'unsalted' butter) you can add a drop of chicken broth to balance it out. Make sure it is low sodium chicken broth, or you might just be adding more salt!

Spoon the soup into individual serving bowls and top with a drop of cream and some freshly chopped parsley for added flavor (plus it makes it look fancy!). Enjoy!