Wednesday, April 1, 2015

creamy leek potato soup

 


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. They're mild in flavor, falling somewhere between green onions and shallots . . . and taste wonderful in so many dishes.





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).

So I turned to my favorite, trusted Cook's Illustrated Cookbook for their Potato Leek Soup recipe, and discovered the one that I'm sharing with you today.




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.





Ingredients
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




Preparation
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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Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Baking in Pajamas, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Karen's Up on the HillThree Kids and a FishBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Life With GarnishElizabeth & Co, Home Remedies,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Designs by Miss Mandee,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweThe Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to ours, Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid SimpleAnderson + Grant,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Sunflower Supper Club3 Little Greenwoods



12 comments:

  1. How funny. Although your main ingredient is leeks, we had potato soup for dinner last night. It's my go to, easy dinner. Mix and match whatever is in the house. Ours was tons of broccoli and cheddar this time around. With Bacos and chives from the garden on top. Good stuff. I inherited a pot of leeks from our neighbors who just moved and I'm super excited. It's my first time growing them and I can't wait to cook with them.

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  2. I simply love to use leeks any chance I get and your potato soup sounds and looks wonderful. I agree with Cooks Illustrated -- I love when they do there evaluations of products. And any chance I get I want to leave the skins on the potatoes. I've already pinned the picture and I'm printing out the recipe for my bucket list. Your photos are wonderful -- as usual :-)

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  3. I will be back here for this recipe next grocery shopping list-day! I love leeks in a pasta recipe that I have so I want to try this! :)

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  4. This looks so scrumptious! Making it for weekend guests!

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  5. Love that this has no cream! Thanks for linking up with Best of the Weekend!

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  6. As we are now in Autumn and the evenings are getting colder, this looks like the perfect warmer to be tucking into :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

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  7. I bet it is delicious! I never think to buy leeks. Will need to try this! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  8. Yum! I love leeks! Thanks for sharing this!

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  9. I love potato leek soup and your version with the leeks as the star sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday morning!

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  10. I love the sound of this soup, and blending up a piece of bread with the soup to give it thickness... genius!! :)

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  11. I am making this! We have potatoes ( yukon gold and red new) and leeks in our garden so I look forward to making it with fresh veggies. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature on Monday xo

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  12. This just sounds delicious! This has been added to my 'to make' list :-)
    Thanks for linking up at the Talented Tuesday Link Party :-) It would be great if you joined us again this week!

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