Happy Monday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Since I’m not Irish, leprechauns kind of freak me out and I think green beer is gross, I have never been one to fully partake in this holiday. However, I’m a huge fan of people celebrating their culture and heritage, so I generally find a way to get in the spirit a little bit — usually through food.
This year its with this creamy and hearty potato leek soup I made for lunch on Saturday. Everyone was a huge fan — this soup is delicious, truly filling and perfect for a cold day. Its a satisfying meal all on its own, especially if you add some crumbled bacon (which sadly i didn’t think to do.)
Some quick tips:
1) After you chop the leeks, put them in a big bowl of cold water, separate them a bit with your fingers and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Leeks hold a lot of dirt in between their layers and letting them sit in the water will allow the grit to sink to the bottom of the bowl. After 10 minutes scoop out the leeks floating on top of the water and let them dry on a towel.
2) Cut your potatoes into equal sized pieces so that they all cook in the same time. You don’t want some of them being raw in the middle while others are breaking apart from overcooking
3) DONT OVER BLEND — Even though you want a lovely creamy soup, you really don’t want to over blend because agitating the starch in the potatoes too much will make the soup into a gluey, pasty mess. Make sure that you have enough liquid in each batch you put in the blender (about half liquid / half potato) and pulse it 4 or 5 times to get the process started. Then blend it for 3 seconds at a time. As soon as you stop seeing chunks stop blending
- 4 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- ¼ cup of cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté the leeks in the oil and butter over medium heat until they are soft and becoming translucent but have not begun to brown. Add a pinch of salt at this point to help sweat the leeks.
- Add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme and stock. Bring the stock to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a fork.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Transfer the mixture in small batches to a blender and blend for 10-15 seconds.*
- Return the blended mixture to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste, add the cream and allow to cook for 5 more minutes on low heat