After my first successful attempt at cooking leeks, I got another big batch in my next grocery delivery. I had also gotten some lovely Yukon gold potatoes, so I went with the first thing that came to my head- that classic pureed pairing, potato-leek soup.
Lebovitz’ original recipe calls for 6 cups of water, which wasn’t cutting it for me flavor-wise. Instead, I substituted 1 cup of white wine and 2 cups of chicken broth, plus 3 cups water to round it out. This added a really nice depth of flavor, and some kick to a soup that runs the risk of being a little too bland. You can mix and match your favorite savory liquids here as you like, though.
This is a perfect soup to make on a weekend and enjoy the leftovers in the weekdays that follow.
Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from David Lebowitz
Large, deep-sided pot
Immersion blender or regular blender
- 2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 4 leeks, washed and sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/4-pounds (about 4-5) potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the slices leeks and season with salt. Cook the leeks over moderate heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re completely soft and wilted.
3. Add the thyme, and chile powder, and stir for about 30 seconds, cooking them with the leeks to release their flavors.
4. Pour in the wine, broth, and water,, and add the potatoes and bay leaf.
5. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife. Depending on which potatoes you used, this could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Take out the bay leaves and puree the soup with the white pepper, seasoning with more salt if necessary. Here I used an immersion blender, but if you use a standard blender, be sure not to fill it more than half-full and secure the lid. David recommends not using a food processor as that will make the potato purée “gummy”… whatever that means. Sounds unappetizing though!
If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water, until it’s the desired consistency.
7. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
After yesterday’s 70-degree weather in New York, this may seem like a stretch to go for hot soup now that spring is finally coming around. But I still think we’re being duped… can’t be too prepared for those sure to come 40-degree days till summer’s officially here!