I prefer this soup hot, with a light salad and a warm baguette. Sit by the window and watch the snow fall and the cars slide by... It's easy and quick to put together and it leaves lots of room to "play". Try to use homemade chicken stock- it's so much more flavourful than the store bought stuff. Use vegetable stock for a totally meatless version. You could garnish your soup with homemade croutons.
|Leek and Potato soup topped with homemade croutons|
To serve 4-6
2 tbsp butter
1 cup onion, chopped (about one medium)
5 leeks, white and light green parts only. Wash well and slice thinly crosswise (about 4 cups)
1 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 russet potatoes (or any high-starch variety) (about 2 cups) peeled and cut into large cubes
1 cup half and half cream (for extra richness, use heavy cream)
Salt and pepper to taste
finely minced fresh chives to garnish.
|Sauté the leeks and onions|
Increase the heat to high. Whisking constantly, add the stock gradually. Throw in the bay leaf and potatoes. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about five-ten minutes.
Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender until it liquifies, then pour through a sieve back into the cleaned soup pot. Stir in the half and half (cream, if using), adjust the seasonings for salt and pepper, and heat on low until hot. Do not let it boil. Divide into serving bowls, sprinkle with minced chives and serve.
|Pouring through the sieve|
The soup will keep up to two days, well covered in the refrigerator.
You could pump up your soup by topping it with grilled shrimp, say three per bowl. Or, top with homemade croutons.
To make the cold version- à la Vichyssoise- pour the sieved puree into a bowl, stir in the half and half, taste for salt and pepper and cool to room temperature. Cover tightly, then refrigerate for about four hours before serving.
Thai Fusion: I've used coconut milk to replace the cream, added Thai curry paste and lemongrass and called it Thai soup.