Monday, October 15, 2012

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

The weather has definitely turned here in the West Coast. Gone are the sunny brisk days that we had all the way into mid-October. We have finally set into real fall weather. The leaves have turned colours and have fallen to the ground, and when we think of what to have for dinner we start thinking of heartier meals that are warm and comforting.

Potato leak soup is one of those dishes that is really easy to make, and contrary to popular opinion, our version is very low in calories, as we only use a little milk to finish. The richness comes entirely from the starch in the potatoes for thickening.  Now what makes this recipe rustic? Simple actually, I don't have a blender or an immersion blender so getting the soup perfectly smooth just isn't possible. Plus, who doesn't prefer their soup to have a little texture?

Serve this with fresh cheddar biscuits. See the recipe here.Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

Serves 6.

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Leeks
1 Medium Onion, diced finely
3 Stalks Celery, diced finely
1 liter Chicken Stock (home made or store bought)
6 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (1 - 1.5 Lbs), peeled and cubed
1/4 Cup Italian Parsley, chopped finely
1/8 Cup chives or green onion, chopped finely
1 cup 2% milk (you can add cream if you prefer it to be richer)
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large stock pot, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery and sweat for 5 minutes. Do not brown the veggies.
2. Trim the root end off the leeks and slice in half lengthwise.  Wash the leeks very thoroughly as there will be dirt. Once clean, slice the leeks finely and pat dry. Add to pot and continue to sweat the veggies for an additional 5 minutes.
3. Once all the veggies are soft and translucent, add the potatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are well cooked, about 30 minutes.
4. Depending on how smooth you want your soup, puree with an immersion blender, pass through a chinoise, or mash with a potato masher.
5. Add more stock, or some water if the soup is too thick.
6. Add milk, herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
7. Let simmer for 5 more minutes, till hot through, and serve.

This soup can be made a day or two ahead and reheated. It may need some water or additional milk to thin it out. It does not freeze very well, as it tends to separate and looks less appealing, but even after freezing it tastes delicious.

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