Leek & Potato Soup

I love leek and potato soup, otherwise known in fancier circles as Vichyssoise. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious. You can eat it warm or cold, or if you’re like me, you can just pour some in a coffee mug and drink it all day long.

This is one of those recipes that I make by feel, and it’s been difficult to pin down formal numbers. Measurements are approximate, so feel free to adapt to your tastes.

Ingredients:

4-5 good sized leeks
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 shallot
4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 qt broth (either vegetable or chicken)
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. buttermilk
salt & pepper to taste

Optional garnish:
Diced green onion or chives

Optional seasonings:
Some recipes call for thyme, marjoram, dill, nutmeg, etc. I don’t add them, but you should use whatever flavors you love.

Preparation:

Wash leeks. Trim off roots and dark green portions. Discard. Slice white part of leeks and chop into smallish pieces.

Chop shallot.

Wash, peel, and dice potatoes.

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add leeks and shallot, and sweat them down for about 5 min. Reduce heat and simmer until they are soft and tender (20-25 min.)

Add potatoes, broth, and optional seasonings to the pot. Increase to high heat. When the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are done (35-45 min.)

Turn off the stove. Remove pot from heat.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth.

Substitution Alert: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can pour the mixture into a regular blender or food processor and go until it’s smooth. You will have to do several batches in the blender because it won’t all fit at once, so for ease of use and for less mess, I highly recommend picking up an immersion blender. They’re about $20 at Target.

Pour the cream and buttermilk into a measuring cup or container together, and give them a stir. The reason we do this is to prevent the buttermilk from curdling when it comes in contact with the warm soup.

Once the soup has cooled from boiling to warm, slowly add the cream and buttermilk mixture, blending or whisking as you pour. Mix until fully incorporated.

Taste your creation. Use a clean spoon.

Season with salt and pepper. Blend to incorporate seasoning.

Taste again. Add a little more cream/buttermilk if the soup isn’t creamy enough for you. Re-season and tweak until it’s just right.

Garnish with diced green onion or snips of chives.

Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Preparation Note: I usually double this recipe and refrigerate the extra soup in mason jars to share with neighbors or for leftovers. If you plan to reheat the soup, do it slowly, stirring gently but continuously, so the consistency of the cream stays intact.

leeksoup2

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