I promised to post the recipes from the Galentine’s Day party last week because this soup and the cookies I served were both big hits. The original Julia Child recipe is from the Art of French Cooking and calls it Potage Parmentier, so if you’re serving it for a party I suggest going with that title and impressing les pantalons off of everyone. Serving the same recipe by the name Potato Leek soup keeps it down to earth for an easy Sunday supper.
Though an easy recipe, this was a soup 26 months in the making. I originally made it for Christmas party two years ago, got great reviews, but then promptly forgot about it. (Are you sensing a trend? I am a big fan of soup, salad and fancy bread for parties since it is so low maintenance on the hostess and allows you to be with your guests rather than prepping a meal.) My cousin Casey had attended that party and loved it, and requested the soup the other day, which was actually the catalyst for the entire Galentine’s day party. I’d been wanting to throw one anyway, she and I had a lunch date planned with one other friend, and the soup makes 6-8, so we invited a few more friends and added a theme!
Casey and the others declared the soup worth the 2 year and 2 + month wait, and I agree. It is a refreshing choice towards the end of a winter, when I have grown tired of my other favorite stand by soup recipes of minestrone, chilli, and corn chowder.
It’s also pretty darn easy and uses minimal ingredients. As with any recipe using few ingredients, try to get the best of everything you can afford. This concept, first introduced to me by Martha Stewart (or marthafrigginstewart as we like to call her around here) ensures that simplistic dishes shine.
Since it doesn’t get better than straight from the garden, I was thrilled to have a use for the home grown leeks that I have been dragging around in half a whiskey barrel since we moved back in July. I was distraught last spring knowing that we were about to move and that I would not have the chance to use my new raised beds, built just the year before. So, I insisted on planting in my whiskey barrels and moved them with us twice before settling them on our front porch at our new home. Either the tight quarters or the frequent moves stunted the leeks’ growth because I got very thin, and therefore very mild tasting leeks. Cleaning them was a nightmare since the tiny tendrils held dirt expertly, but it did give me satisfaction to have a little front porch farm to table moment in the middle of winter.
Potato Leek Soup adapted from Julia Child’s Potage Parmentier
what you will need:
2 tablespoons or a little ,more, olive oil
5 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and roughly chopped
3 large leeks (1 pound) cleaned well and thinly sliced
6 cups light chicken stock
Kosher salt, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup minced chives
How to do it:
- First clean the leeks by dousing them in a bowl of cold water to soak, then agitating them and rinsing them until very clean. Chop the leeks so that you remove the dark green ends and roughly chop the white and light green parts of the vegetable. Next peel and roughly chop the potatoes.
- Heat the oil in a large (6-plus quart) stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly (this took me about 20 minutes.)
- Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender.
- Let cool before carefully transferring to a blender.
- Blend in a blender or food processor (being careful of the liquid limit on yours, I overflowed my food processor’s bowl and made a mess) until smooth
- Add the cream, and season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Because my leeks were so mild I ended up needing to use about 2 tspn salt and 3 tblspn lemon juice
- Ladle into bowls, and garnish with chives.