Creamy leek potato soup is not your average 'potato soup.'
Did you notice that the title is "creamy LEEK potato soup,' NOT 'creamy POTATO leek soup?'
That's because LEEKS play more of a star role in this delicious soup, which makes sense because they have a lot more flavor than a potato.
I've made Ina Garten's Potato Leek soup for years . . . and it's quite delicious; but it's somewhat time-consuming to prepare and calls for more ingredients (like arugula, white wine, Parmesan, and creme fraiche).
I LOVE that it's easier to prepare, but best (and most) of all - it's delicious!
It's a 'less work' AND 'less ingredient' recipe that yields LOTS of flavor! Sounds like a great combination to me!
One of the things that I enjoy about Cook's Illustrated recipes is that I've never tried one that wasn't amazing . . . AND they always give an explanation before every recipe as to WHY their recipes work.
Here's what they share about their Creamy LEEK Potato Soup . . .
Why this recipe works
Most versions of this soup are gluey, and drown the potato and leek flavor due to an over-abundance of cream. We learned that over-whipping the potatoes in the blender causes them to leach too much starch and turn gluey. By using fewer potatoes than you'd find in most recipes (we opted for russets because they broke down well), we lessened the amount of starch and thus the risk of glueyness. And instead of tossing out the leeks' dark green parts, we simmered them in broth to give our soup potent leek flavor. We added a slice of bread when pureeing our soup to help thicken it without masking the flavor as cream would.
4 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, sliced thin (4 cups), and washed thoroughly; dark green parts halved, cuts into 2-inch pieces, and washed thoroughly *see photos below
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 small russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
*I prefer to leave the skin on
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme or tarragon
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, lightly toasted and torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Bring dark green leek pieces, broth, and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solid to extract as much liquid as possible; set aside.
Discard solids in strainer and rinse out saucepan.
Melt butter in now empty saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in sliced leeks, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened about 10 minutes.
Increase heat to high, stir in reserved broth, potato, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
Add toasted bread and simmer until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes.
Use the lowest setting on your toaster to dry out the bread without over-browning it.
Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme. Transfer half of soup to blender and process until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
You can also use an immersion blender to process the soup directly in the pot.
Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining soup.
Return soup to saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a garnish.
A garnish is essential to add texture and flavor to this soup. In addition to fried onions or leeks, we also like to serve this soup with crispy bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, freshly chopped chives, and Garlic Chips or Garlic Croutons.
courtesy the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook
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