6 October, 2015
Cream of Leek Soup
Today’s post is a guest post, courtesy of my lovely mother, Lisa. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of this soup, but I hear it was quite good! Now, without further ado: Cream of Leek Soup!
When Jeanette first asked me to do a guest blog post, I hesitated. It felt like I was being asked to do my child’s homework. Remembering that she isn’t six years old anymore, I quickly changed my thought process and saw this as an opportunity to make a large amount of food and send it her way to make sure she’s eating!
It’s the first week in October. Here in Rochester, NY, our temperatures have been dropping to 40 degrees at night, and that means that it’s time to get out the soup recipes!
I love creamy soups, but most cream-based soups are best consumed immediately and not reheated. This recipe, however, is an exception. Some even say it’s best after letting the flavors mingle for a day or two!
Before we start, I have a single suggestion: If you can spend the extra dollar or two for organic veggies, I strongly recommend that you do. It will make a world of difference in the taste, and since there is no meat in this recipe, it’s pretty inexpensive.
Here is what you will need:
8 medium leeks (3 pounds), cleaned and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 small boiling potato
1/2 cup dry white wine (Vermouth)
Chicken stock or chicken broth (32 fluid ounces) (I use unsalted and salt to taste)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves, (flat Italian is preferred)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
First order of business: Since this is a vegetable soup, share a carrot and a bunch of parsley with the bunny — everyone likes a happy bunny! I could share hours of video with Ringo chewing whatever is for dinner on a given night.
Okay, on to the soup recipe. Leeks are usually sandy, so be sure you don’t skip cleaning them! Cut the end root and dark green leaves from the leeks. Slice them length-wise and wash the leeks in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them to get all the sand out, then drain well in a colander. When they are clean, slice them cross-wise and toss them into the pot.
We will be pureeing the veg after they cook so cut them all to a similar size so they cook evenly.
Cook leeks, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy pot over medium heat; stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Peel potato and cut into cubes, add to onion mixture along with wine, stock, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in parsley and simmer soup, uncovered, for 5 minutes keeping the soup at a bare simmer.
The next step is to blend the soup – I use a stick blender directly in the pot, or you can use a regular blender. Blend in 4 batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids, for hopefully-obvious reasons), about 1 minute per batch, transferring to a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Reheat if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. This is called a roux. Look at YOU cooking French cuisine!
Remove from heat and add 2 cups of the simmering soup, whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer, whisking.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it almost forms soft peaks. Serve soup topped with cream.
Serve with a salad and crusty bread.