A Blog Mainly About Food

If by "mainly" you mean "sometimes"

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Enough Potato Leek Soup for a Small Army

Here comes my intuitive Potato Leek soup, a recipe based on looking at a few others and then using my pure cooking wits. Its an ideal soup for cold winter days, the kind you'd half expect to be eaten by NFL linebackers in the locker room during improbable Campbells commercials.

6 medium red skin potatoes
2 large leeks
3 stalks of celery
2 large carrots
4 Tbls. butter
1/2 gallon chicken stock
2 1/2 pints heavy cream
kosher salt
black pepper

Cube the potatoes (I left the skin on) and chop the leeks. I chose to use as much of the leeks as possible, just cutting off the tougher green ends (about 3 inches). Make sure you wash the leeks really well--they can be kind of sandy. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot and simmer the leeks and potatoes for 40 minutes over low heat. Around minute 30, dice the carrots and celery and saute in the butter. I used my thyme butter (4 oz. unsalted butter, 4 cloves garlic, thyme, salt, and a bit of lemon--instructions for preparation (though not my exact recipe) can be found here) for extra flavor. After the carrots and celery are softened a bit, add it all--melted butter too!-- to the stock (if you time it right, this should happen at the 40 minute mark). Pour in the cream, increase heat, and bring the soup back to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 20 additional minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with nice crusty bread--I used the farmer's bread from Eastern Market Bakery. If you want the soup to be a bit creamier, swap out stock for cream.

This came out pretty well. I didn't salt it quite enough, but the creaminess level was great for my taste. The saltiness of the bread was the proper compliment, and to say I was full after eating a bowl and some bread would be an understatement. This recipe served four with tons left over--I'd say it probably serves a total of eight fairly well.

There it is, my first soup ever. Lots of room here for all kinds of experimentation and variation. Any suggestions?