Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Family Dinner: Leek and Potato Soup

Tonight's menu included a bowl of warm, rich, creamy leek potato soup and baguette with cambozola cheese with a crimson glass of Quilici Syrah. It's been cold and rainy here lately, which is so bizarre for May in Chico but I've taken advantage of the surprise weather to enjoy a bit more soup! Yippee! Besides that, my garden is taking off and my leeks are now ready. I'm just wondering what I was thinking when I planted so many???

Leeks in my herb garden (also more in my main garden!)
This is the third year of my garden and I think I'm finally getting the hang of this gardening thing. It's still pretty amazing when something actually grows though, it's like a miracle has happened every time I find a new baby vegetable on the bush! We have an organic garden and I love that Bella and I can go out and pop strawberries warm from the sun into our mouths straight from the bush (but this is becoming another post!)

The strawberries that actually made it to the house!

Next year, when you grow leeks (which I had never cooked with until last year when I planted them on accident thinking they were chives...go ahead, laugh!) you can go out to your
garden and dig up a few plump bulbs ( 1/2" or larger diameter). They're all over my farmer's market too...

Now you pull out Alton Brown's recipe and get started while you listen to Lady Gaga or Neil Diamond on Pandora Radio (depending on what kind of day you've had and how badly you need a dose of Sweet Caroline screamed out at the top of your lungs).

Alton Brown's


  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives


Chop the leeks into small pieces.
(First, pull off the outer layer and wash them, then chop off the roots and the dark green portions which you will save to compost of course!)

In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

My favorite pan: an heirloom cast-iron dutch oven from my great grandmother

Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes.

Why Kosher you ask? It has larger crystals and less salty and iodine taste than table salt (more room for error!)

Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes

and the vegetable broth (little sister made some for me and it looked really easy and it made all the old wilty veggies I was hoarding in the fridge into something really yummy),

 increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes,

At this point, Bella took the scraps out to the compost pile (yes, Mom, I finally have one!)
I also could have made more vegetable broth but I didn't need any right now.

I added turkey kielbasa from Trader Joes at the end (probably should have waitied until after the puree).
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.

You must have an immersion blender, it has changed my life!
(um, not really, but I do love it!)
 Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper (or black pepper if that's all you have).

I only use half of the cream and buttermilk.
Not because I'm afraid of the fat but because I think it tastes better.
Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

Delicious! And actually today was really nice so we sat outside.

I had one scoop of soup, 1 slice of bread and a generous wedge of cheese.

Then, because I wanted it.....

I lost another pound today. My new smaller size jeans are getting baggy!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Congratulations. Everything looks yummy and rich.
    I love your great grandmother's pan. How wonderful.