August has just begun, but, here in the Pacific Northwest, it already seems like fall’s creeping in. It’s been cool and cloudy and a little rainy out, and I’m in the mood for soup.
Leek & Potato Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 leeks, pale parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 ½ quarts chicken broth
7 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5/8-inch cubes
1 sprig thyme
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the leeks and onion and sauté for about 12 minutes, or until soft.
Add the broth, potatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer for about half an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Discard the thyme sprig and stir in the cream. Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and serve immediately.
Makes a lot, enough to serve about 10 to 12, which is good because you’ll want leftovers. Leeks tend to be very dirty, so rinse them thoroughly after you chop them. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender but remember: never fill a blender more than half way with hot liquid. This means you will need to blend the soup in batches and reheat it before serving. For a perfectly smooth texture, strain the pureed soup through a fine mesh sieve. Garnish with minced fresh chives or a few drops of truffle oil. If it’s still summer where you live, know that I’m jealous and serve it chilled. Leek & Potato Soup served chilled is commonly known as vichyssoise.
Click here for Vichyssoise Shooters, a fun and fancy way to serve Leek & Potato Soup.