LEEK & POTATO SOUP

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt plus more to taste

  • Pinch of dried marjoram

  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Sprinkle of Tabasco sauce or other red chili sauce

  • Black pepper to taste

Method

1 Clean and cut the leeks: Cut the leeks lengthwise, fan them open under running water to dislodge any dirt or mud hiding inside. Cut of the tough dark green tops and discard (either compost or freeze for making stock). Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. 

2 Cook leeks in butter to soften: Melt butter on medium heat in a 3 to 4 quart thick-bottomed pot. Add the chopped leeks, stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pot and lower the heat to low, cook for 10 minutes until the leeks are softened. Check to make sure the leeks are not browning.

3 Add stock, potatoes, herbs, salt, bring to simmer and cook: Add the stock, diced potatoes, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, and a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Increase the heat to high to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

4 Purée the soup: Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Use an immersion blender or standing blender to blend about half of the soup if you want a chunky soup, or all of it if you would like your soup to be more smooth.

5 Add parsley, adjust seasonings to taste: Add the parsley, and cook a few minutes more. Add a few dashes of Tabasco to taste. Add freshly ground pepper and more salt to taste. (Potatoes soak up salt, so you may need to add more salt than you expect.)