Um...I'm sure you are tired of soup collages by now...but the vegetable are so beautiful that I just can resist. Also, I'm pretty predictable...so there's that. My kids requested this soup yesterday, and the girl wanted to learn how to make it, so how could I resist? Potato Leek soup is so amazing. It has next to no ingredients and it is still so delicious. Potatoes, leeks, thyme, bay. And butter and cream if you so choose (yes, please). This is another great gluten free soup...and can easily be vegan if you choose comparable substitutions for the butter and cream. I use the recipe from The Art of SImple Food by Alice Waters (see below). We were eating it as dinner rather than a starter, so I doubled the recipe below. Also, we choose the variation that she lists below where we puree the soup and then add the cream. Her main recipe is a rustic version that is not pureed. But the kids like it pureed because it reminds them of mashed potatoes or something. We served it with rosemary toast (from Central Market). The girl chose to garnish with thinly sliced oven fries we made from the same batch of yukon golds. That's my girl. :)
Leek and Potato Soup (Makes 2 quarts: 4-6 servings)
Trim off the root and and the tough upper greens from:
2 pounds of leeks
Cut the trimmed leeks in half lengthwise and slice thin. Rinse in a bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks out of the water to drain.
Melt over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot:
3 tablespoons butter
Add the leeks along with:
2 thyme springs
1 bay leaf
Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add:
1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered, and sliced
Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes, then add:
6 cups of water
Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. When done stir in:
1/3 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
Do not boil one the cream is added. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving.
-Garnish with fresh-ground black pepper and some fresh chives.
-For a heartier soup, use broth instead of water
-Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs and puree the soup before stirring in the cream.
-Omit the cream, puree the soup before serving, and garnish with a pat of parsley butter.