potato leek soup

This past Thursday, the DC area saw its first real snow of the season.  Tiny flakes came down for hours, leaving behind a nice dusting of white that hardly impacted commutes and made the otherwise drab, gray world of DC in winter beautiful.

So when I got home Thursday night, I knew that there were just two things I absolutely had to do: turn on Christmas music and make Potato Leek Soup.  For me, both are synonymous with snowy winter evenings and both are necessary to thaw out after a long, cold day.

I found my recipe for Potato Leek Soup in a great recipe box set that Nate and I received for our wedding.  It’s easy, hearty, and should be enjoyed in ridiculously large quantities, preferably while staring out at the snow from your toasty-warm family room (flannel PJs covered in polar bears are optional, but highly recommended).

Potato Leek Soup

3 medium leeks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 cups chicken stock (I’ve used broth with no ill effect)

3 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried (I’ve used thyme in a pinch)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley or chives

1 cup (4 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese

Trim the leeks, cut in half lengthwise, then wash under cold running water to remove any sand.  Chop finely.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add the stock and potatoes, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the leeks, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are soft.  Coarsely mash the vegetables with a potato masher.*  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley and cheese.

*I completely forgot to mash the potatoes this time around.  It was still awesome.

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