Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leek Soup

I was at our local farmer's market last Thursday when I ran into my neighbors. We discussed our purchases and I mentioned I bought leeks. They asked what I was going to use them for... and frankly, I didn't know. I just wanted them. Ina Garten uses leeks in her recipes and I figured with a little research I'd find a use for them...

However my neighbor saved me the trouble. She told me about a leek soup recipe that her family loves and is super easy. Of course I asked for the recipe. On Monday when our dogs met up to play in our yards, she brought me her recipe to share! I made a few changes to the original, but all in all it was her recipe. My changes are listed below.

Leek Soup
(source: my neighbor)
3 T. butter [I used 4 T.]
3 large leeks* (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 4 1/2 c) [I used 4 leeks]
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced [I used 3 potatoes]

4 1/2 c. chicken stock [My soup was THICK! So I used more stock to thin, as recommended below]
salt + pepper, to taste

Melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and stir to coat with butter. Cover and let simmer until leeks are tender, stirring often (~10 minutes). Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes soften, but do not brown, stir often (about 10 more minutes). Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender (30 additional minutes).

Puree soup in batches using a food process, blender [or in one fail swoop using an immersion blender] until smooth. Return soup to pan and thin to desired consistence with additional stock, if soup is too thick.

Serve immediately.
*Ina Garten always talks about how important it is to thoroughly clean leeks. They are made up of lots of thin layers that can easily trap sand. I trimmed and halved them and then ran them under water, cut side up to make sure any trapped sand was able to escape.

{4 large leeks, trimmed, cleaned and halved}

{leeks thinly sliced and melted butter}

{3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced}

{leek + potato + broth}

{me and my immersion blender at work}

{blended, before the addition of more broth}

{final product... looks kind of like applesauce, no?}

Clearly this is not the most aesthetically-pleasing soup, but it definitely is a palate-pleaser!! I wish I would have taken a picture of Rich's face as we sat down to eat. I tried to get him to do it again, but he wasn't interested. Let's just say he was doubtful this would be very good...

The verdict? It's good! Really good!! Even Rich agreed it was tasty. He thought next time I shouldn't puree it... but I kind of liked it that way. Maybe next time I will puree half and leave half au naturale; that might be a good compromise.

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