I was at the St. Petersburg Farmer’s Market recently and got my hands on some beautiful leeks — big, fat, fresh, bright white and green. I couldn’t wait to get home to cook up a batch of this soup — it’s one of my favorites.
This soup always reminds me of my grandmother, and one special day when I visited her many years ago in Fall River, shortly after my grandfather had died. She was still missing him terribly but, in her kitchen, she found solace. We sat at the kitchen table, talking about everything from her life growing up as the youngest of 9 siblings, blueberry picking, summer days at the beach with our family, to my grandfather’s love of her famous date squares. When the soup was ready, she served me a big bowl, along with warm, crusty bread. I had never had it before, but ended up eating 3 bowls! She laughed and thought it was funny that I loved it so much, but admitted it was one of her favorites, too. Today, I still love this soup, but I especially love the memory of my kitchen chat with my grandmother.
This recipe couldn’t be any simpler – throw everything in a pot, let it simmer, add a couple more ingredients, then puree and serve. The flavor is delicate, but there are layers to this soup. If you really pay attention you’ll pick up subtle garlic and onion, but more than anything, you’ll taste its buttery richness and mild leek flavor. My husband says it’s his new, favorite soup. I like to think of it as simple, creamy goodness that warms your soul 🙂
- 2 Tb. unsalted butter
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (I like to use Gold potatoes)
- 4 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 4 leeks, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. whole milk (or reduced fat)
- ½ c. cream (or add more milk, if you don't have it, but it's so much better with it!)
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large pot, combine butter, potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic and 1 cup chicken stock. I like to add a pinch of salt for flavor layering. Simmer until all ingredients are soft. (I cover the pot to steam a bit).
- When everything is cooked, add 3 more cups chicken stock. Cook 10 more minutes.
- Add milk and cream (if using).
- Using a hand-held puree mixer (I love my Cuisinart) puree everything until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.