Potato Soup

The Cowgirl Gourmet
Serves 4-6
This soup is a perfect fix when you want a soup but don't have that much time. You can whip this up and have dinner on the table in 45 minutes or less. It's versatile, too, meaning that you can use leeks or onions. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skin on...I leave the skin on to retain some of the nutrients. You can add milk or cream or not. I choose fat-free milk so I can minimize the fat content, but that's not to say I won't add a little cream to the leftover soup tomorrow. You can puree it all or leave some chunky for texture.
2 leeks, only the whites and light green part, chopped (you could use 1 1/2 cups of chopped yellow onions instead)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 Tablespoons EVOO or olive oil
5 cups potatoes, russet, washed and chopped (about 4 large potatoes)
4 cups (or enough to cover the veggies by an inch) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (I use half veggie broth and half water to control the sodium)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste, if necessary
Fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)
Cut the dark green tops off the leeks leaving just the white and light green. Cut in half lengthwise and place in a bowl of water to remove any dirt. Dirt loves to stay in leeks so clean these carefully. Chop the leeks once they are clean.
Place a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons EVOO. When the oil is shimmering, add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Allow to saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped carrot and celery and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the diced potatoes, 2 Tablespoons EVOO and cook for 3 minutes. Cover veggies and potatoes with either vegetable or chicken broth or a combination of both. Drop in a bay leaf and stir.
Cover and bring to a boil. Once it boils, drop the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and either puree the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. Add milk or cream and stir.  I generally don't puree everything, but leave some a little chunky. Turn on low heat and let cook for another 10 minutes. The soup will thicken up now.
Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt, if desired. Serve and top each bowl of soup with freshly ground black pepper and perhaps some freshly chopped parsley or dill.