Monday, September 26, 2011

Ode to Julia: Leek & Potato Soup

This recipe is based on Julia Child's. It's one of my very favorite soup recipes and was very popular at Roots. It's simple, hearty, comforting, delicious, cheap, and easy to put your own spin on...

3 cups leeks, julienned
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
3 cups gold or red potatoes, well scrubbed & chopped (I leave the peel on for a more rustic soup but you can peel it if you prefer)
4 cups vegetable stock
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil or butter over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the leeks and onions; cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil; let simmer for 20 minutes. You can leave the soup chunky, or just blend half, but I prefer to blend (with an immersion blender) until mostly smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish options
sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheese, crumbled blue cheese or cherve, fresh chopped parsley, chives or green onion, buttered croutons, blue cheese crostini…

  • add in other vegetables (in with the potato or diced, sauteed, and added as a garnish): carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabga, cauliflower, winter squash, sorrel, spinach, kale…
  • sweet potato & leek soup: use sweet potatoes instead of gold or red, garnish with grated gruyere cheese and fresh minced rosemary
  • broccoli potato soup with cheddar: add a bunch of broccoli (rough chop florets; peel and shred stalks) to the last 5 minutes of simmering. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese.

Kitchen Tip
Julienned Leeks
With a paring knife, remove the tough, dark green parts of leaves (save for stock). Starting at the root base, insert the knife through the leek and draw up through the top. Repeat, cutting leek lengthwise into thin strips. Cut into 1½ inch sections, removing root base. Place julienned leeks in a bowl of water and swish vigorously to rinse away all dirt.

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