Food can be really sexy. Yes, I do personally have a thing for good food but I feel like even those soulless bastards that consider a Big Mac and half a dozen Chicken Nuggets a meal can appreciate sexy food. Bruschetta with white bean paste, fresh tomatoes, onions and reduced balsamic glaze? Sexy. Wild mushrooms and shallots wrapped up in fresh pasta topped with butter, wilted spinach, white wine and garlic? Sexy. Slicing into a gooey hunk of brie baked with honey, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes? Sexy.
Soup is not really sexy. Which is a shame because it is delicious, easy to make and easy to freeze for convenient (and healthy) meals later. My favourite for a long time was Squash-Apple but I'll tell you about that one another time. I know it's Spring and I should be thinking salad but I want to share my recipe for a wicked winter soup: Potato-Leek.
Okay if you are intimidated by leeks, I get it. "What part do I use? What does "trim" mean? Blah blah blah". Most of the time, when a recipe calls for leeks, they just want you to use the white/light green parts so as the leek gets taller and darker green and starts to separate, you don't want to use it. That part is too fibrous. You only want the nice tight part starting just above the base going up until you hit dark green where it starts to sort of resemble leaves. Because this is a soup that gets blended, you can be a little more generous with what you use. Just make sure everything is thoroughly washed and you can use the leek from right above the base to half way up the "leaves".
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped ("minced" if you will)
3 large leeks, trimmed and chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
a pinch of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
5 cups vegetable broth
a few fresh chives (let's say seven)
Heat oil in large saucepan, add leeks and garlic. Cook gently (so low-med heat) until leeks begin to wilt. If you burn the garlic, just start over, you can taste burnt garlic through anything. Add potatoes, stock, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of your potato chunks, it may take a little longer, you want your potatoes cooked all the way through). Salt to taste. Then get the pot off the heat and either use a handheld blender stick directly in the pot or transfer to a blender and punch the puree button. Please put a lid on the blender first though. When your soup is smooth, sprinkle with fresh chives and serve.
It's nice to rub some garlic (peeled and squashed with the flat side of a knife to release the juices) on bread slices, toast them up, dust them with Parmesan cheese and serve them alongside your soup.
Recipe by Aubrie Chaylt. Photo from Google Images.