French Leek and Potato Soup
One of my favorite soups, no matter the season. The following recipe makes 8 servings as a first course, or 4 servings as a main course.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4-5 leeks, the white and tender green roughly diced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus grinds of black pepper
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 medium "boiling" potatoes (such as 'Yukon Gold,' peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream (or milk)
- 1 bunch parsley, coarsely minced
Melt the butter in a 5-quart pot over low heat. The butter shouldn't color at all. Add the diced leeks; stir in the salt and pepper. Cover the pot, and let the leeks sweat until perfectly tender -- about 10 minutes.
Add the water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture, and stir until the the water thickens -- about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, partially cover the pot, and let simmer until tender — 20-30 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Then stir in the parsley and the cream. Serve hot, warm, and cold, garnished with extra parsley and, if desired, small croutons.