catch up: potato leek soup

in the madness that is november and december, while i did have time to cook and great intentions to post, i didn't quite make it. and since the weather hasn't changed much, it's still the perfect time for a warm bowl of homemade soup!

all summer i watched my leeks grow. i had visions of leeks. leek risotto. sauteed leeks with butter and garlic. leeks with pasta. and this leek and potato soup. so what a surprise when i finally realized they weren't leeks. nope. i had green onions. which yes, i knew i planted, but thought they were a row over.

so i was disappointed. so much so that i scoured the market for them the following saturday. and just as i was thinking i must be too late, leek season must be over, i found the one, sole seller of leeks. and promptly picked up a small bunch. coupled with the potatoes from the guy next door, i had all the makings of a perfect winter soup.

potato leek soup
adapted from cook's illustrated, march 2010
1 hour, serves 6-8

2 large leeks, white and light-green parts sliced thin (roughly 4 cups), dark green parts halved, washed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
  1. in a large dutch oven or soup pot, bring the water, broth, and dark green leek tops to a boil. cover and simmer for 20 minutes. strain the broth and press down on the greens to get all the liquid out of them. set aside.
  2. in the same pot, melt the butter over low heat. add leeks, onion, and salt and saute. stir frequently and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. you don't want the vegetables to brown, so turn down the heat if you notice anything browning.
  3. add the reserved broth, potato, thyme, and bay leaf. increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and reduce to low. simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.
  4. remove the thyme and bay leaf with a slotted spoon. use an immersion blender (or regular blender, only fill the blender about halfway or you'll get a soup explosion and be careful, it's super hot) and puree the soup. season with salt & pepper.

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