|Tims Leek and Potato Soup
Great texture based on hearty French recipe
|• Two bunches of Leeks (6 to 7 leeks, with long white sections)
• 1 White Onion
• 6 Medium Potatoes (Yukon Gold is best, Red is fine)
• 1 Cardboard Container of Chicken Broth
• 5 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
• Sprig of Rosemary
• 3 Bay Leaves
• Parsley (dried) (optional)
• Salt & Pepper
• 1 Cup (more or less) of Heavy Cream
• 5 slices of bacon
• Cut leeks 4 to 6 cm past where the white part ends (should be light green). Discard the dark green stalk.
• Cut off 2 to 4 cm of the greener side of each leek and reserve
• Cut off roots and slice the white leeks lengthwise; wash them to remove dirt
• Slice the white leeks thinly
• Wash and slice the green leeks as thinly as possible and place in a dish of water; discard any green parts that are especially tough
Dice the onion
• Place the butter in a stock pot and melt it on medium heat
• Add white leeks and onion
• Add salt (1 - 2 Tbsp) and dried parsley flakes
• Sweat until the leeks and onion are tender, allowing them to brown slightly is okay
Prepare potatoes (while sweating)
• Scrub potato skins, but do not peel
• Cut each potato in half and then into 1/4 inch slices
• When sweat is finished, add potatoes
• Add chicken broth to just cover the potatoes
• Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
• Add Rosemary and Bay Leaves (optional)
Prepare bacon (while simmering)
• Cook bacon in a skillet
• Remove from heat, let cool on paper towel
• Chop into large chunks and add to stockpot
• When the potatoes are soft (about 10 to 15 minutes), mash them in the stockpot by hand
• From this point on, be very careful about the heat of the pot as it will be very thick. Stir frequently, especially scraping the bottom of the stockpot with a wooden utensil. Lowering the heat as the soup thickens is recommended
• Add thinly sliced green portion of leeks
• The soup is ready when the green leeks are tender, but cooking longer will help the flavor of the bacon and spices come into the soup.
• Add cream and stir to incorporate (optional).
NOTE: One online chef has said that adding too much cream can dull the flavor of the leeks, so try less than 1 cup of cream (or omitting it)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Remove Bay leaves. Rosemary sprig may have come apart which is fine. Remove the stem if you find it.
• Flavor is strongly influenced by proportion of leeks to potatoes. To get the right flavor you need to have plenty of leeks.
• Sweating longer will caramelize more sugars leading to a sweeter soup. Slightly browning the leeks should also generate more complex flavors.
• Texture is influenced most by amount of liquid. Only add enough to cover the potatoes for a rich texture. Texture is also influenced by the sliced green leeks which are added near the end. Don’t forget them! Finally, leaving the skin on the potatoes should enhance the mouth-feel.
Things to Try
• Braising/roasting some leeks and adding them sliced/diced as a soup garnish
• Different spice profile (basil, tarragon, curry?)
• Olive oil instead of butter
• Adding garlic to sweat
• Substituting a sweet potato for one or two of the potatoes
• Adding whole grains for more crunchy texture
• Adding chard or spinach to green the soup up (perhaps pureeing them?)
• Add (few) carrots and celery
• Adding a dark beer as part of the liquid
||Preparation Time: 45 minutes
||Serves: 4 to 6
|Recipe Origin: United States
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