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Potato Leek Soup

Here is an easy soup recipe perfect for anytime of the year. This soup can be served warm on a chilly fall day or it can be served chilled or at room temperature on a hot summer day. If you are going to serve it chilled I think it is better to purée the soup completely before chilling. There can be many variations of this soup and you can add different herbs, spices and cheese if you like. When I have fresh leeks and fresh garden potatoes I like to go easy or omit any additional herbs in order to really taste the fresh leeks and potatoes. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 to 4 leeks cleaned and sliced *see note

1 to 2 cloves of garlic (Optional garlic can overpower the mild leeks)

2 to 3 lbs of gold fleshed potatoes. Peeled and diced into ½ cubes.

7 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf * see note

1 sprig of fresh thyme ** see note

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

1 cup of heavy cream

In a stock pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and garlic (if you choose to use garlic). Sauté for about 10 minutes making sure not to brown the leeks or garlic. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, salt, pepper, and any herbs you may be using **see note. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. At this point, depending on the consistency that you like your soup, you can either blend (using a blender or emulsion blender) the entire batch of soup or if you like some texture just blend half the soup or you could just use a potato masher and mash some of the potatoes. After blending or mashing the soup, return it to the pot ,add the heavy cream, stir and simmer. If the soup is too thick add a little bit of water; if too thin continue to simmer uncovered until it thickens. Serve.

*the white and green stem of the leek is the edible part. The ferny leaves should be discarded. Some leeks may have dirt or grit in them. To clean, slice the leek open long ways and rinse under cold water. Then slice as needed.

**Additional herbs are great but sometimes can take away from the true taste of potato and leek. Herbs like Bay Leaf and Sprig Thyme should be removed from the soup before puréeing.

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