Snow is threatening to fall today in San Antonio, Texas for the second time this winter. And I think it warrants something warm and comforting. Like a fabulous beef stew or grandma’s chicken and dumplings.
But, since I don’t eat beef or fowl (fowl is foul in my world), I am leaning towards making a big pot of soup. I love the smell of soup cooking on the stove. It makes me feel like I’m at my grandmother’s house. And with snow looming (or, more likely, wet drizzle), and a fire roaring in the fireplace, soup sounds like a perfect way to end the day.
I picked up some carrots at the farmers market this weekend that I could use for the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), but I need to make a soup that David and I will both enjoy.
So in honor of the snow (if you call that snow), I’ve decided on a potato soup made with leeks. It’s a white, satiating soup that will certainly warm us up on this very cold and wet snow day.
- 2 leeks only the whites and light green part, chopped (you could use 1 1/2 cups of chopped yellow onions instead)
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
- 5 cups russet potatoes washed and chopped (about 4 large potatoes)
- 4 cups vegetable/chicken broth or water or enough to cover the veggies by an inch (I use half veggie broth and half water to control the sodium)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream optional, but it will make the soup creamy
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste if necessary
- Fresh dill or parsley chopped, for garnish
Cut the dark green tops off the leeks leaving just the white and light green. Cut in half lengthwise and place in a bowl of water to remove any dirt. Dirt loves to stay in leeks so clean these carefully.
Chop the leeks once they are clean.
Place a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Allow to saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped carrot and celery and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the diced potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook for 3 minutes. Cover veggies and potatoes with either vegetable or chicken broth or a combination of both. Drop in a bay leaf and stir.
Cover and bring to a boil. Once it boils, drop the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and either puree the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. I generally don't puree everything, but leave some a little chunky. Add milk or cream and stir. Turn on low heat and let cook for another 10 minutes. The soup will thicken up now.
Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt, if desired. Serve and top each bowl of soup with freshly ground black pepper and perhaps some fresh chopped parsley or dill.