drinking roses from the can (heartspunmom) wrote in rumahouli,
drinking roses from the can

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Potato leek soup

This soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods. When I was in college, the cafe down the street served up a generous bowl of the day's soup along with a baguette and butter, all for dirt cheap. Potato leek was always on the menu, and the fragrance of it brings back those days of hunkering down at a table near a steamy window, reading for an assignment or scribbling in a notebook, watching the buses splash past.

I spotted pre-trimmed and cleaned leeks, two to a package, at Trader Joe's and knew that I had to try to recreate this simple pleasure! As usual, this is not really much of a recipe. There are more elaborate and probably traditional recipes out there, but this simple approach cooks up lighting fast and tastes, to me, exactly like the daily bowl from my college days.

Simple potato leek soup

You'll need two leeks, with a long white section. Some stores sell these pre-trimmed and cleaned, but you can start with untrimmed leeks too. Make sure you clean them well because they can hide a lot of gritty crud in between those tightly packed leaves.

Slice up the leeks nice and thin, discarding the roots at the end. Only slice up to the pale green part of the leek, don't use the darker green ends of the leaves (if you're starting with untrimmed leeks).

TJ's also sells fingerling potatoes in a bag, which is what I used. A couple of handfuls of small white creamer or yukon gold potatoes will work as well. Chop these roughly into big slices, half an inch thick or so. The goal is just to get them mostly the same size so they'll cook quickly and evenly.

Heat up some butter - I used an *ahem* generous amount - in a large saucepan and cook the leeks until they are wilted, soft and beginning to brown. I grind in some sea salt and black pepper at this point. Toss in the potatoes as well, and cook those with the soft leeks for a few minutes. Pour a can of chicken broth over the top - just enough to cover the potatoes, then cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn it down and let it simmer until the potatoes are nice and tender. Now comes the really fun part - mashing! I used a potato masher and broke up all the potato until the soup was chunky, not too smooth and not too many big pieces left. Pour in some heavy cream - how much is up to you. I didn't really measure, just eyeballed it. Stir it all up, check the salt and pepper, and serve in a nice heavy bowl with crusty bread and butter alongside.

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