Potato Leek Soup
Looking back, it’s pretty impressive how much my palette has expanded in the past decade, but especially the last 4 or 5 years. When I began to cook for myself the summer after sophomore year, my diet consisted heavily of peppers, onions, chicken, and pasta. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; even now sometimes I’ll start sauteeing an onion before knowing what I’m making, I just know I want it to have onion. But in these food adventures I had never before cooked with a leek.
For those of you that have, you can probably figure out what I did by looking at the color of this soup. I failed to understand that when the recipe said to cut off the green “tops” of the leek that mean essentially discarding about 3/4 of the entire root. Instead, I just lopped off the top inch and went on my merry way. This resulted in an unexpectedly green, but still very delicious, soup.
The temperature didn’t get above 20 for a few days, so it was a weekend full of soups and stews. In addition to this we also made chicken chili (with cornbread) and a sausage lentil stew. I had this bowl of soup with a slice of leftover struan bread, and the Tartine country bread I used to mop it up later in the week did a fine job too.
The other problem with the onset of winter is less daylight. Not because it’s dark when I go to and leave work (though it is), but because it gives me a very small window over the weekend in which I can take good pictures! Our kitchen is on the other end of our apartment from the window, and I find it difficult to make anything look appetizing under the orange-yellowish lights of the kitchen.
As I right this it is dark and snowy, and I have bread rising under a makeshift proofing box. With it getting so cold I’ve started proofing bread under a lamp to help keep the temperature up. Many people simple put their dough in the oven with the light on, but our oven doesn’t have a light, so this is my solution.
If you’re somewhere where it’s as cold as here this soup is sure to warm you up, whether you properly chop the leeks or not. Enjoy!
- 2 onions
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 leeks
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
- Chop off the dark green tops of the leeks and discard. Chop up the remaining white and light green parts and place in a bowl of water. Rinse lightly and allow the dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Drain and rinse the leeks once more and set aside.
- Dice the onion and peel the potatoes, chopping them into small pieces (about ½ inch square)
- Melt butter in a large pot on medium head and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add leeks and potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes while stirring.
- Next add the water, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down slightly and cook on a low boil for about 40 minutes, covered halfway with a lid. After 40 minutes check to see if the potatoes are tender. If not, cook until done.
- Once the potatoes are done remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor, but be careful!).
- Add cream and add extra salt if needed. Add more water if too thick, or cook off some of the liquid (or add more cream!) if necessary.