Given the unseasonable warm temperatures we have had recently, I felt like I had to wait until temps were below 60 degrees in NYC before I could share this recipe. (Although I could enjoy this no just about any time.) So with temps taking a slight dip this weekend, I can’t think of a better time to wrap your hands around a comforting warm bowl of soup.
Potato Leek Soup is as classic as you can get when it comes to soup recipes. It’s also as easy and simple as you can get without skimping on flavor. I used a recipe by Melissa Clark as my road map but most recipes call for just three main ingredients – potatoes, leeks and stock. I subbed olive oil where she used butter and topped mine with fresh cracked pepper. (I even got a little carb happy and dipped crusty bread into the bowl when I had it for dinner.)
Melissa suggested that the key to a great Potato Leek Soup, aside from using high quality stock, is to “brown the heck of of the leeks” to develop their flavor. I’m glad I listened. The extra few minutes gave what could easily be a bland soup lots of depth of flavor.
Simple and easy enough for you to pour into a bowl and then wrap yourself in a blanket to watch your favorite episode of Real Housewives/Bachelor/Teen Mom/Basketball Wives/(insert other favorite trashy yet irresistible reality TV show here).
Potato Leek Soup
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium leeks or 2 giant ones
4 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher
1/2 teaspoon fresh Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken stock
Fresh cracked pepper, for garnish
Clean the leeks by chopping off the dark green stems (leave the white and an inch or two of the light green). Split the leeks down the center vertically to expose all the soil trapped in the layers. Rinse well under running water. Thinly slice the leeks discarding the hairy root.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and saute until golden brown all over, about 6 to 8 minutes. While the leeks are cooking, chop potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
Season leeks with salt and pepper and add the potatoes. Then add the stock or water. It should cover the veggies by at least 1/2-inch. If not, add more water. Bring to a simmer and partially cover the pot. When the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes later, puree the soup using an immersion blender (working in batches, a blender works as well). If it's too thick, thin it down with water or stock or cream. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with freshly cracked pepper to serve.