Saturday, April 10, 2010

Red Potato and Leek Soup

Leeks at Marche des Enfants Rouges in Paris

The first two days back from vacation, I was lucky enough to be off from work for Passover. I managed to fit in a trip to the Union Square market. After our trip to the market in Paris, I was all psyched up to eat fresh healthy food. The hot weather tricked me into thinking I would find a plethora of produce at the market, but it was mostly root vegetables, squash and apples. I saw some leeks and thought of the previous night's episode of Iron Chef: Battle Leek. The only vegetables that survived in our vacation were potatoes, so I figured I'd use them in a soup with the leeks. Although I felt strange making a hearty soup in 75 degree weather, it was the perfect thing for my jet-lagged husband and my post-Bikram light meal. 


Inspired by the simplicity of the foods we had in Paris, I kept the soup very simple to focus on the main ingredients. I cut the stock with water to make it less salty, but added some leek and onion parts to give it more flavor. I also partially blended the soup to leave it chunky to show off the potato skins and leeks. I like when you can look at a dish and know right away what it's all about. This soup only took about 30-45 minutes to make and came out great. We'll definitely be having this again soon.


Red Potato and Leek Soup
3-4 servings

2 C Vegetable stock
2 C Water
Outer layer of each leek
5 cloves garlic, peeled
Outer layer of or ¼ C of onion
4 Large Leeks
1 lb Red Creamer Potatoes, diced (do not peel)
2 T unsalted butter
½ C buttermilk or ½ C whole milk + ½ tsp Lemon juice
Chopped fresh Chives

1.    Heat stock and water in a saucepan with tough discarded layers of leeks and onion, and a few garlic cloves.
2.    Prepare leeks by cutting off the dark green parts, leaving the lighter green and white parts. Remove root end. Slice in half length-wise and rinse layers under cold water to remove dirt. Slice into smaller pieces.
3.    Saute leeks in butter in stock pot, about 8-10 minutes over low-medium heat.
4.    Add stock and potatoes and bring to a boil.
5.    Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
6.    Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup. Aim to blend about half the contents, leaving half chunkier.
7.    Add buttermilk and season with salt and pepper as needed. Heat through and serve garnished with chopped chives.


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