Even with as much pride as I take in my iron constitution and my bodies ability to withstand regular overindulgences of too much rich food, innumerable taco cart tacos & burritos, too many cocktails, and those pesky bottles of wine that go down far too easily, sometimes even I have to take a break and simplify. Last night was just such an instance, and besides on a chilly November evening a bowl of homemade soup sounded just about perfect. Oh, and I did happen to have a bottle of 2005 white Burgundy that needed sampling, and I knew it would kill with this potato-leek soup. Best of all, after a quick ten minute stop at New Seasons I had everything I needed for this easy to prepare, easy to make, and deliciously satisfying bowl of comfort food. This is a snap, and I'm amazed that something so easy can be so good. It can also be altered for those pesky vegetarian friends of yours (or just tell them you used veggie broth...they'll never know!!). It also has this really pleasing pale green color that I have to say is very attractive, because we all eat with or eyes first, right?
So that was it. In about 30 minutes max I had a healthy bowl of soup, bread, a couple or three glasses of great wine. My body and my mind were both quite happy!
Oh, and speaking of the wine it was pretty damn good, too. A 2005 Bouchard Puilly-Fuisse that was creamy, with honeyed-butter and flower aromas and flavors. Great texture, perfect balance. Those Frenchies have a pretty good handle on chardonnay!
LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
adapted from epicurious
3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise,
thinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 large russet potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced
4 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1- Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat with butter. Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
2- Puree soup in batches in blender or processor until smooth. Return to saucepan. Thin with additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives and serve.
**cooks notes: If you use store bought chicken stock brring it to a boil and reduce by about a fifth (start with 5 to 5-12 cups). It really intensifies the flavor and adds richness to the soup. I use an upright blender rather than a food processor with my soups. Nothing gives a velvety, palate pleasing texture like a blender (not even hand blenders do as good a job).