Monday, November 14, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

While I was stirring this delicious Potato Leek Soup, my 23 year old son said that he suddenly remembered his Bavarian "Oma" serving him a similar soup when he about 4 years old. (Mutti didn't add leeks, as far as I can recall.)  It's funny how certain aromas or recipes can transport us way back in time. 

This recipe was inspired by The Haggis and the Herring".This weekend, rainy and cold weather has finally come to stick around my part of California. So, I chose a savory hot soup.  This would give me a perfect opportunity to bake bread to go with it.

I usually keep leeks on hand, because they are perfect for making soups.  Trader Joe's carries leeks that have already been trimmed, and the price is right.

I like to split them in half...

...the cut them into half moons. . Sometimes soil hides inside leeks, so I carefully wash them, then strain them.

 I used my mandolin to easily slice a large onion and three Russet potatoes, nice and thin. In a Dutch oven, you'll need a bit of olive oil and butter. Begin to saute the leeks and onion, just until soft (about 5 minutes).  Next, add 2-3 small cloves of garlic and cook for just the last minute.

I decided to add thyme to the soup recipe.  Fresh is usually my go to, since I grow my own. But, I took a shortcut and used dried thyme  How much? About two teaspoons.  Give it a stir.  Add the potatoes.  I like to make my own chicken stock, but there is no shame in buying boxed chicken broth/stock. I added one quart of chicken broth to the sliced potatoes.

One of my favorite ingredients that I add to creamed soups is white wine. The wine gives a nice touch of acidity, and I think, enhances the flavors of the soup.  I like to use sauvignon blanc, as my cooking wine (or dry vermouth).  I covered the soup, brought it to a simmer until the potatoes were fork tender-- about 20-25 minutes.  At this point you could mash the potatoes. Or, you could puree the soup in a blender. Me?  My immersion blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools.  I like to puree my soups to leave a bit of texture.  I added about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Then I tasted the soup and added a little  and pepper.  I used a low-sodium broth, but I didn't want to add salt just yet.  Why? Because I'll be adding Parmesan cheese, which can be salty in itself. What's next? Ah, heavy cream.  What can one say?  It's got some extra calories and fat grams.  But, it leaves such a silky and creamy flavor to soups.  I added about 1/2 cup-- not too bad, considering this 8-10 cups of soup. Last, but not least, I add a little salt until the flavors all seemed balanced.

I baked a loaf of Whole Wheat Bread, and decided to add a Parmesan Crisp (that I buy at Trader Joe's. These are wickedly good.) 

Photographing a white soup isn't very easy to do, especially when you have white dinnerware.


VERDICT:  My husband, my son and I love soups.  To me, they are the ultimate in comfort food.  The potatoes give the soup a lovely thick viscosity, and the leeks and onion add so much flavor.  The thyme, I think, is a good addition. The wine....oh, the wine.  You don't taste alcohol. White wine really kicks up the flavor buds, and the Parmesan cheese.  My husband usually reads my blog (hi, honey), but I will rat out that he ate three bowls of this soup.  I ate two. The bread...well, I'm not sayin' how many slices of hot, fresh bread and butter were devoured.  The bread? Oh, that recipe is coming up next. (NOTE: I realized that I had made and blogged another version of Potato Leek Soup, in April 2009.  That version uses bacon.  It's good, but I liked this version better, I would say.)

 The next day, I reheated the last bowl of soup.  I made chive oil, and I think that added some pretty color and subtle flavor.

Thanks, Dan & Meredith, for inspiring me to make your Welsh soup.  My tweaks were minor, but I do believe I captured the recipe as you shared it.  I will definitely make this again.  A printable recipe is at the end of this post.





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27 comments:

Daniel Saraga said...

We're really glad that you found a recipe that you enjoyed and we hope you try more! Your photos are beautiful as well.

I hope you continue to enjoy the Secret Recipe Club.

Cheers!

Valerie said...

I agree, soup is the Ultimate comfort food, especially when the colder weather sets in.
This soup sounds wonderful, and it looks so creamy and rich...two very important soup qualities.
(I can see why your husband had 3 bowls.) :D

Kate said...

Oh Debby that does sound delightful! I like the idea of adding a dash of wine to the soup. (New learning for me..) Glad to see you at SRC!

bellini said...

This is my favourite soup of all time Debby!

Melanie said...

Wow, a version of a soup that is better than one that includes bacon? I must try this soup. I've had miserable failures with potato soup, so perhaps this recipe will be the one to redeem me?

Velva said...

This is beautiful. Once again, proof that using simple fresh ingredients makes perfect.

Thanks for sharing a new blog to discover with your readers.

Cheers.
Velva

Aarthi said...

YUMMO..This looks awesome..You have made perfectly dear..

Do visit my blog too
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

TKW said...

Looks and sounds delicious! I don't think a half cup of cream is bad at all for a whole pot of soup! I'll be giving this one a try.

Kim said...

Participating in the secret recipe club is going to be a fun adventure and I'm looking forward to what you chose.

I can understand why this soup was such a hit. It looks incredible!

Betsy said...

Its my first month in SRC too and I am overwhelmed by how many awesome recipes I'm finding! I'm obsessed with leeks and this soup looks perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debby,
We just love the Potato and Leek flavor combination and this soup looks delicious. We would really enjoy a hot bowl of this soup. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
Miz Helen
http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/2011/11/brussels-sprouts-salad-with-warm-bacon.html

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I love leeks. They always seem to be so expensive. I never thought to look for them at TJ's! Thanks! Those will be on my list and this soup too! Enjoy your week!

The Veggie Mom said...

This looks delicious. My sons have been dying to try Potato Leek soup since they found out that this was soup made in the movie Ratatouille. I might have to give this one a try.

Joanne said...

I didn't grow up eating potato leek soup and yet it is still total comfort food to me. Nothing like curling up with a bowl of this on a rainy day!

And food blogging should totally be a verb!

Lisa~~ said...

Welcome to the SRC and you soup looks amazing and I love all your pictures, great post.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group 'A' SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

Chris and Amy said...

Welcome to the club! We love those Trader Joe's leeks!!! This recipe sounds delish!

Jeanette said...

Potato leek soup is the ultimate in comfort. Like the chive oil you drizzled on top, punches up the color.

Erin @ WholesomeRD said...

I love potato leek soup! Your pictures look amazing too! Yum!

tandysinclair.com said...

I love it when a meal brings back memories!

Trisha said...

Welcome to SRC Debbi, hope u'r having fun! The soup looks wonderful.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

What a wonderful soup, I love potato leek soup! You made me want to run home tonight and make some...

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Debbie - Was just thinking about making and posting a potato leek soup and I see yours - with some wonderful ideas and additions I wouldn't have thought of - like the parmesan cheese.

Amy said...

Looks great -- so fun to be in SRC with you!

Amy said...

That looks absolutely delicious! And what a great soup bowl.

If you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

Julie said...

I love potato leek soup. I had the Daniel's blog my first time in SRC. I've enjoyed my visit here!

Pat's Pink Apron said...

Debbie this potato and leek soup looks delicious! Pat

Bill said...

Oh, Debby! I just got real hungry reading this post! Soups are high on my priority list this time of year and as the weather gets colder, potato leek soup sound great. Your recipe looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing it!