By coincidence, when my daughter in law called, I also had some leeks in the refrigerator about to go bad and already had a recipe in mind. She must think I'm a genius. This afternoon we are having a cooking class on the phone and hopefully a nice surprise for my son when he comes home for dinner. Not only is leek and potato soup delicious and appropriate for the cold weather, it's also very easy and quick to make. The addition of bacon is all her idea...I guess she's catching on quick!
Yield: 6 servings
2 TB unsalted butter
3 cups sliced leeks, white and tender green parts
3 cups peeled and roughly chopped baking potatoes, like russets
6 cups chicken stock (no sodium)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup minced chives or parsley
Crumbled bacon (optional)
In a large heavy saucepan, sautee the leeks in the butter until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, chicken broth, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Correct the seasoning, to taste, and let the soup cool a bit. Puree with a handheld immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor.
Return to the saucepan, add the cream and reheat before serving. Top each serving with a sprinkling of fresh chives and bacon, if you like.
For the cold version known as Vichyssoise
The Ingredients are the same, omitting the Bacon, of course.
1. Simmer the vegetables in stock or broth instead of water as described in the master recipe [Potage Parmentier]. Puree the soup either in the electric blender, or through a food mill and then through a fine sieve.
2. Stir in the cream. Season to taste, over-salting very slightly as salt loses savour in a cold dish. Chill.
3. Serve in chilled soup cups and decorate with minced chives.