Saturday, November 13, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup has to be the all time great chilly weather soup.  The simple flavors of leeks and potato in this cream soup are very satisfying.  I've sold this soup in cafes, restaurants and bistros.  The best potato leek soup clientele I ever had was in an English Pub where I was the chef.  The Irish and English customers loved this soup!
     Recipe:  Make a light white roux with equal parts of unsalted butter and flour while stirring over medium heat.  The roux should be white and not blonde.  There should be no hazelnut aroma from the cooked roux.  Set the roux aside when it is done cooking.
     Chop a handful of the white and green parts of a leek.
     Saute and sweat the chopped leek in a little bit of unsalted butter over medium heat in a sauce pot.
     Add just a pinch of minced garlic.
     When the leeks become sweated and tender, add a little bit of light chicken broth.
     When the broth starts to simmer add some cream.  (The richness of cream is called for in this simple soup.)
     Add just a little bit of milk.
     When the soup returns to a gentle simmer, add just enough of the white roux, while stirring with a whisk, to thicken the soup to a light medium consistency.
     Add a generous amount of peeled, medium diced russet potato.  (About 1 medium size potato per serving.)
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Simmer the soup over medium low heat and stir occasionally.
     When the potatoes are cooked tender, then the soup is done.
     Ladle the soup into a bowl and float a few parsley leaves on top of the soup.
     The rich cream will give this soup a smooth, silky, medium consistency.  You can puree this soup, but the little potato chunks add to this soups character.  Delicious!  So very simple too.  Sometimes an uncomplicated soup is most satisfying.  The leeks are the main flavor of this soup and there is no need for any added extra herbs.  Potato leek soup is one of life's great simple pleasures.  Especially on a chilly rainy day.  Yum!  .....   Shawna

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