Chef Dina

Now available for Bay Area full service catering in conjunction with "A Fork Full of Earth" organic catering, intimate dinner parties and weekly meal preparation.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Leek and Potato soup

So, I say "leek and potato" rather than "potato leek" soup because there always seems to be more potato than leek, and that just ain't right.  With a name like "potato leek", and given the fact that leeks cook down to less than half their original volume, it's a lot easier to add too much potato in proportion.   So, let's get our priorities straight here...the leeks are where the flavor is- potatoes can come along for the ride.

This will make about 5 quarts, so use at least a 6 qt pot. You will also want an immersion blender.

Leeks 2-2.5 lbs (about 6 medium to large leeks) white AND dark green parts
Russet potatoes 2-2.5 lbs peeled and cut into smallish cubes
1/2 stick salted butter (substitute oil or bacon fat, better yet,  if you want)
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 tsp or so fresh grated nutmeg
3 Tbs Organic better than bullion chicken stock dissolved in 8 cups water
1 cup milk ( can just add a little more water)

Wash and cut up leeks- make sure you use the whole leek, as many recipes call for only the pale green part.  No point in wasting it!
Melt butter (or bacon fat if you have it on hand) in the pot and add the leeks. Sautee for a minute to coat the leeks and cook them down a bit.  Add a little stock if it is getting dry and simmer until they are "melted" (aka a green mushy delicious mess). Probably about 30 minutes
Peel and cut up potatoes and add to the pot along with the nutmeg, pepper, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until potatoes are super tender.  Use an immersion blender to puree, but leave some chunks. Finish with a cup of milk, if desired, or add more water or stock until desired consistency.  I like it thick :)

**Want to make this even better???  ADD BACON!  instead of oil or butter to sautee the leeks in...
cut up a bunch of bacon into little pieces and sautee it in the pot until crispy.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to reserve for later. Sautee the leeks in the bacon grease and add the bacon bits back to the soup after it is finished. Clearly, I'm big on the bacon...this is the 3rd time I have mentioned it.

This recipe makes a lot of soup (unless you are pregnant, like me, and go through 4 quarts yourself in 48 hours...). I always keep quart sized mason jars on hand for freezing soup...just leave an inch or 2 of room at the top.  This is a great way to store soup because you can just stick the jar of frozen soup in a pot of  water to defrost it in a hurry. Forget the plastic tupperware and give your microwave a break.

Enjoy! It's chilly out there! 

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