Today is a good day for soup here in the Midwest. The temps will be falling below zero before the end of the day with wind chills 15° to 25° below zero. The wind is howling outside my office window and the snow is blowing sideways. I guess I shouldn’t complain, our winter has been relatively mild compared to the New England states. They are bracing for their fourth blizzard in a row.
I’ve had a bag russet potatoes that were begging to be made into soup. I love soup especially on a cold blustery day. I picked up a bunch of leeks earlier in the week, so a potato leek soup was my soup of choice this weekend.
If you have not cooked with leeks they are mild, with a slight onion and garlic flavor. The leek is a vegetable that belongs to the genus Allium along with onion and garlic. The white and light green part of the leek is the most edible part of the stalk. The dark is edible but must be cooked longer to tenderize. The main problem with the leek is it is usually very dirty and sandy. Click on the link from Simply Recipes on how to clean a leek.
I based my recipe on Alton Browns from Foodnetwork.com. I love Alton’s recipes. They are always technically sound and taste great. If you want to learn the correct way to cook and why ingredients work the way they do follow Alton.
My main changes to his recipe is I lowered the fat and calories and added a few more potatoes. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable because that is what I had in the pantry. I also topped the soup with bacon and chives.
Potato Leek Soup
1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
4 large russet or 6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cleaned and diced into small cubes
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 cup fat-free half and half
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives
2 slices cooked bacon. Chopped
Chop the leeks into small pieces.
In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the low sodium chicken broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.