So, the second thing on my fall culinary goal list was to make potato and leek soup. I don't think I've ever actually had potato and leek soup in a restaurant, so I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like or if I'd even like it. I wanted to tackle it because both potatoes and leeks are "in season" in the late fall/early winter ... a time of year when not much else is in season. If I could learn to successfully make this soup and if Alan and I both enjoyed it, it would be a great addition to our seasonal menu.
Let me begin by saying that leeks are pretty intimidating. I mean just look at these suckers:
They look like giant chunks of celery, they smell like onions and they take up a lot of room in the fridge. I looked up several potato and leek soup recipes online, but most of them called for ingredients that weren't available at my local grocery shop - specifically, creme fraiche. I didn't have the time or the energy to be running around from store to store so, in the end, I worked with this recipe and improvised. I used sour cream instead of creme fraiche and it worked out well.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large leek, diced
Salt (to taste)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of sour cream (or more, to taste)
First, dice the leeks as you would celery or onions. Then, heat the tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add the leeks and potatoes. Stir occasionally for about ten minutes. Add six cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
Once the water has boiled, reduce heat to low and allow the ingredients to simmer for a half hour or so. Once the potatoes are tender, use a hand mixer to blend all the ingredients together. Add the heavy cream and salt until you get the taste you want. Pour into bowls, add sour cream (I did one tablespoon of sour cream per bowl) and garnish with fresh parsley.
And there you go! Potato and leek soup, nice and creamy and perfect for a crisp autumn evening. Alan and I liked it quite a bit, but next time I'm adding bacon or ham chunks to add even more flavor. Overall, I'd say it was a success!