Potato Leek Soup

I've been enjoying a rustic version of this classic which is achieved by not pureéing the soup.  
For a more refined version, just pureé and strain - you'll end up with a velvet-smooth soup that's creamy without any added fat.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 3-4 leeks, white part only, finely sliced  
  • one medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I like the 32-ounce packages of Imagine Organic chicken broth)

METHOD 

Prep veggies. More specifically:

Leeks: trim off all the green and the tail end. Slice in half lengthwise and rinse. Restack and finely slice crosswise.

Potatoes: scrub and peel or leave unpeeled as you like. Cut into ½-inch cubes.

In a medium-large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until both are translucent. Add the potato and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the broth and turn the heat up to high. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potato is cooked thru.  Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. I like to make it earlier in the day, let it sit for a bit and then reheat at point of service. This allows the flavors to set a bit more. Serve now for a hearty, rustic soup.

For a more formal presentation, blend and strain the finished soup.  Prior to blending you MUST allow the soup to cool to approximately room temperature first (if you blend hot soup  the heat will cause it to explode out of your blender, burning you and making a mess of your kitchen).

Blend and strain through a medium hole chinois or mesh strainer. At point of service, adjust seasoning and reheat.

Adding a garnish makes it even more formal. At cooking school, where this recipe originated, we were taught to sauté long thin strips of leek, drain them on a paper towel and center them on a bowl of soup in a small heap.