Sunday, September 21, 2008

Falling into Potato Leek Soup

Rustic potato leek soup

It's fall and I'm sick. I'm, like, falling into my soup I'm so sick. Get it?

I'm sorry - that was so bad. I'll let the soup do the talking from here on.

I've lately been enjoying a rustic version of this classic (pictured above) which is achieved quite easily by not pureéing the soup. You get a chunky, hearty soup I really enjoy. For a more refined version, just pureé and strain - you'll end up with a velvet-smooth soup that's creamy without any added fat.

Potato Leek Soup
Print recipe only here

• 3-4 leeks, white part only, finely sliced
• one medium onion, finely chopped
• 4-5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
• 4 cups chicken broth (I like the 32-ounce packages of Imagine Organic chicken broth)

Prep leek, onion and potato. More specifically:

Leeks: trim off all the green and the tail end. Slice in half lengthwise and rinse. Restack and finely slice crosswise.

Potatoes: scrub and peel or leave unpeeled as you like. Cut into ½-inch cubes.

In a medium-large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until both are translucent. Add the potato and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth and turn the heat up to high. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potato is cooked thru. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

I like to prepare it up to this point earlier in the day, let it sit for a bit and then reheat at point of service. This allows the flavors to set a bit more. Serve now for a hearty, rustic soup.

For a more formal presentation, blend and strain the finished soup. Prior to blending you MUST allow the soup to cool to approximately room temperature first (if you blend hot soup the heat will cause it to explode out of your blender, burning you and making a mess of your kitchen).

Blend and strain through a medium hole chinois or mesh strainer. At point of service, adjust seasoning and reheat.

Adding a garnish makes it even more formal. At cooking school, where this recipe originated, we were taught to sauté long thin strips of leek, drain them on a paper towel and center them on a bowl of soup in a small heap.

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