Last week, Sarah posted her Butternut Squash Soup recipe. It’s nothing like mine! However, I do cook like Sarah. In general, the brown sugar gets squeezed right into the mixer bowl without the measuring cup middle man, and the vanilla or salt won’t touch a measuring spoon. It’s been quite an exercise in self-control to measurement out precisely to report here.
Yet I am sort of a perfectionist. So if things don’t turn out just how I want, I dump everything, make adjustments and start again. And since I’m also a scientist, there is a little thrill in the failure, and hypothesizing what went wrong, making adjustments and trying again. Which is why I also love (and we must sound like a commercial for) the The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbooks. There are rarely the pretty pictures of other cookbooks, but the methodology and evolution of recipes is candy enough for me.
This all has nothing to do with potato leek soup. I think this soup tastes like liquid mashed potatoes, but if you’ve never had a leek before (something of a mild onion), you might think it tastes a little different. My family enjoys this soup as is, and the potatoes make it thick enough that I don’t add in any milk or cream for richness. I’ve tried out Alton Brown’s Leek Potato Soup recipe before, and that is a real good one if you want to add in cream, or make it fancier for guests.
Potato Leek Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 large leeks, cleaned, trimmed and white and light green parts sliced (about 2 cups sliced)
- 5 cups potatoes, cleaned, peeled, diced and separated (preferably Yukon Gold)
- 4 cups liquid: chicken stock, vegetable stock, water or combination (I usually use half chicken stock and half water)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or herb of choice) (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
1. Melt the butter in your stock pot/sauce pan/dutch oven/soup making vessel. Add in the leeks and cook on low, stirring occasionally until the leeks are soft but not browned (about 10 minutes).
2. Add in the liquid, 2 1/2 cups of potatoes and rosemary. Simmer until potatoes are soft (~35 minutes). (Cook it down longer if you want a thicker soup.)
3. Use a blender or immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth and even consistency, then put the liquid in the pot back onto the stove and add in the rest of the uncooked potatoes (2 1/2 cups). Cook until these potatoes are cooked/soft (~35 minutes).
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve as is, or add a topping like shredded cheese, fresh herbs, chives, soup crackers, or even stir in a little cream. I like to crisp up some bacon to crumble it on top.