Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Souping Up

'Tis the season for work gatherings, gatherings with friends, family gatherings and...cold nights ahoy! So what better way to start off that large dinner party or a quiet dinnner on a cold night than a nice bowl of steaming hot soup, fresh from the stove? Here is a recipe for Potato Leek Soup. It's sure to please your party guests.


6 to 8 russet potatoes
2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fennel seed
7 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Baguette slices, toasted
Cream, for garnish
Fresh mint and basil or lightly dressed greens, optional

Wash and peel the potatoes. Quarter each potato, first half cross-wise, then lengthwise. Place the potatoes in water and set aside. Slice the leeks half inch thick and rinse them thoroughly until there is no dirt left. Set aside.

Slicing the leeks

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook until lightly translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the fennel seed and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Sauteing the leeks

Add the potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to heat.

Pureeing the soup

To serve, ladel the soup into small bowls. Lightly drizzle the cream on the surface of the soup. Lay a slice of toasted baguette over the top of the bowl, and top the baguette with a few mint and basil leaves or a small mound of dressed greens. Enjoy!

Potato Leek Soup