Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

E. hit the Baltimore, under-the-JFX, Farmer's Market while I was at Memorial on Sunday. The weather has become chilly in Baltimore so I suggested we make Potato Leek Soup for lunch. 

Leeks are mad sandy. You have to really, really rinse them off. Look at the sand in the sink.

I used one onion, and half of the potatoes in this photo. Start with three tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven cast iron, enameled pot. I worship my Le Creuset . I bought it so long ago. The first or second year out of college from Bed Bath and Beyond and I use it sometimes twice a week. 

Cut off the spiky ends of the leeks.

Again, three tablespoons of butter and one medium onion. Cook until translucent.

Cut the green ends off of the leeks. But, slice them like you were using your chef's knife like a sword against the leek. This way you get to keep the tender green center of the leek, see below. 

See how the green part is all weird? You don't want to just cut the tops off but you want to light saber your leeks. Look at the sand. Seriously, there is so much sand, especially from Farmer's Market leeks.

Cut the leeks in a long slice down the middle, not going all the way through the top. Then turn over and cut long wise again.

Then run the water over the leeks, using your thumb to press down and separate the leek. THIS...should get all the sand out. 

Chop those squeaky clean leeks up and add them to your favorite pot.

Peel and chop your potatoes. 

Add everything and cook for 5 minutes.

I used 3/4 of a box of chicken stock. The yellow box kind.

Let me introduce you to the food mill. If you haven't met, he's a fabulous little fella. There are three graters and I used the largest grate for this soup. I love our food mill. He's great for mashed potatoes, soups and even baby food. We gave one to a friend for her baby shower with a how-to-make-baby-food-with-a-food-mill cookbook. Our friend Heather, who actually started Mom Made Foods, loved that I gave this as a baby shower gift. I remember the day she told me her brother was a chef and they had this great idea for a company. She had been making baby food with a food mill before starting her Oprah worthy organic baby food company. She was so brave and is an incredible inspiration to all women. Her husband is also a rock star supporter. I'm one of their biggest fans. Follow Heather on Twitter @MomMadeFoods.

Cook for thirty to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Get out a second pot and put the Food Mill on top of it. Make sure you release the tripod thingys for balance. Ladle the contents of the Le Creuset, in small batches, into the food mill and start cranking.

It smooths everything out without getting gummy or too, well baby-foodish.

Add pepper and sea salt to taste. You can add light cream, but it really doesn't need it.

We put a dollop of sour cream and authentic Stone Hill Farm chives as a garnish. We made little grilled cheese paninis on Arnold Bread thins. Super bad idea. The bread was way too thin so the cheese just melted all over the joint. 

Thank you JFX Farmer's Market farmers for your gorgeous leeks and taters. And thank you BOPA for making the underside of a highway so beautiful. Each pillar that holds up the tonnage is painted by different local artists. A must see when you come to town. Open every Sunday, May 2, 2010 - December 19, 2010 7:00AM - 12:00PM

And thank you Guy and Pam, our dear neighbors, who have fall blooming crocus. You were away when they bloomed and they kept us company.


Pigtown-Design said...

the leek - the symbol of wales. they used to have inflatable ones at rugby matches in cardiff.

have you ever used an immersion blender? they're brilliant!

Amy R. said...

I have never cooked with leeks. I am a bit intimidated by them. You really detailed this post, I think I could try to put them in my potato soup perhaps. You are so gourmet:)

Amy R.

Nelle Somerville said...

Fun info about the Leek MegTown!

Amy, I hope you will try this recipe. This is seriously so easy and you can certainly use an immersion blender if you don't have a food mill.