As comfy as a pair of worn jeans, leek and potato soup is just as delicious. Particularly today, as the extreme freezing temperatures demand making and eating soup!
The typical leek and potato soup most Americans know is Vichyssoise, that cold and creamy version created – as legend has it – at the Ritz Carlton in New York, in the early 20th century. The version I present here is French family style, more of a potage than a soup really, as simple as dawn and just as wonderful. It’s a perfect week night warm-you-up, served with fresh bread and followed by a salad. If you want to dress this up, use chicken stock instead of water, and whisk in a dollop of creme fraiche just before serving. Or, do as I do and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil. Then, decide which you like best.
What follows is the recipe and a trio of “how to” videos, so you can make this in a thrice.
- 5 good-sized leeks trimmed of all but 1-inch of their green leaves, well-rinsed, and diced
- 3 medium or 2 large starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 fresh or dried imported bay leaf
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
Place the leeks, potato and bay leaf in a medium-sized saucepan, and cover by 2-inches with filtered water. Place the pan over medium high heat and when the water is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt, reduce the heat so the water is simmering, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the leeks have lost some of their vivid green color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup, using a wand blender. If it is too thick, stir in either water or cream, until the texture is what you like best.
To serve, divide the soup among four soup bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and make sure you've got bread on the table.
Preparing leeks for Washing