Now that we are getting "cooler" weather in Florida, and by that I mean in the 70's and breezy, it's time to break out my recipes for soups, stews and generally all-around heartier meals. I am starting off with one of my very favorite Simple Creamy Leek Soup. Aside from the leeks, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. What I like about this soup is how simple it is to make, and how beautifully the flavors of the leeks shine through. It is hearty, rich and truly satisfying. This recipe will serve four as part of a multi-course meal or two if it is the meal. I love to serve it with buttered, toasted baguette slices and a mixed greens salad, simply dressed with oil and vinegar. It's a great meal to have on a lazy Sunday afternoon and then take a snooze on the back patio ... like we all did today, including our dog, Lennon.
1 stick of butter, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Leeks, thinly sliced. Use only white and pale green parts*
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 celery rib with leaves, finely diced
2 small red potatoes, peeled and finely diced (1/4" dice)
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat a deep sauce pan over medium-low heat, add butter and allow to just slightly bubble but not brown, add oil, followed by leeks, onions carrots and celery, add a small pinch of salt to sweat the vegetables. Saute for 8-10 minutes, reducing heat, as needed, to keep from browning. Stir frequently.
Stir in potatoes, stock, wine, salt and pepper. Bring up to a low boil, cover and reduce to heat to simmer, cook until potatoes are tender.
Using a blender or an immersion stick blender (my personal favorite), process soup until thick and smooth. You can pour through a sieve if you want an even smoother consistency, but for me it is fine as is. If you are using a blender work in batches and take care to vent to avoid scaling yourself. Keep soup warm.
Using a whisk or hand-held blender, whip cream until thick.
Ladle soup into deep bowls and add a dollop of two of the cream. Serve with buttered and toasted slices of french bread.
*Save green parts in freezer to use in home-made stocks.