Recipe- Potato Leek Soup

potato leek soup

I love the food writer Nigel Slater.  His descriptions make me salivate. This recipe comes from his tome, Tender.  I modified it by substituting the butter with olive oil, which I do all the time with excellent results, except when baking.  The gang gave it thumbs up and everyone asked for seconds, including my daughters friend.  That made me happy.

Tips- Use a cast iron or heavy duty pot that heats evenly.  I’m partial to Le Creuset and find imperfect pieces at discount stores like Marshall for half the price. Don’t season it until after you puree it. That’s when the flavors come together and you can decide how much salt it may need.  Drizzling good olive oil on the finished product adds a depth of flavor. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice doesn’t hurt either.

Easily serves 5-7 with leftovers for freezing

Ingredients

Leeks, 3 large

Potatoes, 6-8 medium, I used idaho, some recipes recommend new or red

Celery, 4 ribs

Chicken, vegetable stock, or water,  6 cups

Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp, then more for drizzling

Parsley, fresh, handful

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Lemon, optional, for serving

leeks

Leeks

Directions

Cut off the tough ends of the leeks, then slice the tender white  and light green parts into 1/4 inch disks.  Submerge in cold water, agitate, then repeat 2 more times to get rid of the grit.  Dry in a salad spinner, and saute in the olive oil over low medium heat in a large heavy duty pot.  I used a Le Creuset oval dutch oven.   Cook, stirring often for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender to the squeeze, but don’t let them color.

Clean and chop the celery and add to the leeks. Cook, stirring for 2 more minutes.  Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes and add to the pot, along with the stock or water.  Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and partially cover.  Cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Use a stick blender or pour into a blender and puree.  Finish seasoning with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley.  You can also squeeze fresh lemon over it for more flavor.  Bon Appetit!

Serving ideas- I served it with an arugula and fig salad with a thick balsamic vinaigrette (whisk olive oil into excellent quality balsamic vinegar), as well as Grey Sole in a lemon, white wine reduction.

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