Foodie Blogroll

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

I enjoy soups all through the year. Here in Florida we don't always have the perfect time for soups due to the weather. I also use my oven when ever I want because it's usually warm out, and if I waited for cold weather to use it it would be pretty slim times used. Well you know what I mean. Quick soups are always good this time of year because you don't have your oven on and they don't have to simmer for hours.

I had a leek I was going to use in my split pea soup I make in my slow cooker, but I didn't have the parsnips, so I improvised. This quick soup is so easy and you usually can have the ingredients on hand. When preparing the leek, slice the ends off first, then I like to cut in half lengthwise before washing. There is a lot of sand and grit that gets caught in it's layers.

- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped (optional)
- 1 med leek, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if going vegetarian)
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 tsp dried dill (or Penzey's Pairisen Bonnes Herbs*)
- 1 tsp chives (more to garnish)
- 1/4 cup cream
- Sea salt and pepper to taste

You can use parsley or fresh chervil to garnish if you'd rather
Of course all the ingredients are adjustable. The amount of broth can be adjusted to the desired consistency. If you would like you can leave some of it mashed instead of puréed if you like it chunkier.

In a large heavy saucepan cook the leeks, celery and shallots in the butter slowly low heat, stirring occasionally, stir in the seasoning and cook until they are softened but not browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add the water, broth, and potatoes, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. In a blender purée soup 1 cup at a time, until it is all smooth. (Or use a stick blender like I did) returning to the pan, stir in the cream, season with sea salt and pepper, top with chopped fresh chives or parsley.

* Penzey's Pairisen Bonnes Herbs is hand-mixed from: chives, dill weed, French basil, French tarragon, chervil and white pepper. It is great to use in eggs, potatoes, fish, chicken tenders, vegetables and many more dishes. I used mine up and the last time I visited my family (which is the only chance I get to go to Penzey's because the only one in Florida is in Jacksonville) we went to Pensey's and they only had one bag left so my sister snatched it up before I got there! I told her that was ok, I just mixed my own and used organic herbs! It's a nice blend that I use often.