Farmers markets are brimming with all sorts of fresh and bright produce at this time of the year. Leeks are one of those vegetables that most people tend to pass on, but is a vital flavor in one of my favorite soups, vichyssoise, a cold soup that combines the taste of leeks and potatoes. While not everyone’s palate can deal with the chilled savory soup, there is less chance it will be passed on from a steaming hot pot.
It is pureed soup, and so there is no need to add any thickeners. The potatoes are essential to the consistency, so be sure they are completely cooked before the blender goes in. Because the potatoes can pull a lot of salt out of the liquid, it is best to leave out the salt until after it has been pureed so that you are not constantly adjusting the seasoning. Serve it up with a creamy grilled cheese or some oven-fresh focaccia bread as the summer cools and transitions into autumn.
2-4 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
1 cup diced white onion
3 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 medium)
1.5 cups leeks sliced
4 cups chicken stock
2-3 cups water
1 tbsp oregano dry
1 tbsp thyme dry
Salt & pepper to taste
Start by slicing the leeks down the middle from the root to the greens and place them into a bath of cool water. They may be quite sandy and need to be well cleaned. Let them sit for about 5-10 minutes then rinse them thoroughly before they get chopped.
Put about a half cup of the chicken stock into a stock pot and turn on the burner to medium heat. Add the diced onion and sliced garlic and let it cook for about 3-5 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent.
Add the sliced leeks and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add your chicken stock and potatoes at this point. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked tender.
Use a immersion blender to puree the soup. Add water or stock to adjust the consistency. I add about 3 cups of water to get the consistency I like.
Season the soup with the herbs and salt & pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minute to allow the flavors to meld.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 60-75 minutes