This Leek and Potato Soup is one of Julia’s renowned recipes that every good cook should learn. Plus, it’s extremely simple to make and velvety smooth — even without butter.
3 cups sliced leeks (white & tender green parts)
3 cups peeled & roughly chopped “baking” potatoes
6 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-n-half
1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche, optional
1. Bring ingredients to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover partially and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Correct seasoning. Serve as is, or puree, and/or top each portion with a dollop of cream.
2. For creamier Leek and Potato Soup: After simmering the soup, puree it and whisk in ½ cup heavy cream. Reheat to and simmer again before serving.
How to Prepare Leeks: Trim off the root ends, keeping the leaves attached. Cut off tops so the leeks are 6 to 7 inches long. Starting ½ inch from the root and keeping leaves attached, slit each leek lengthwise in half and then in quarters. Wash under cold running water, spreading the leaves apart to rinse off all dirt. Leeks can be braised whole or sliced crosswise into pieces for soup. To julienne, cut leeks crosswise into 2-inch pieces, press leaves flat, and slice lengthwise into matchsticks.
How to Puree Soup: When using an immersion blender, set the machine upright in the center bottom of your soup pan, turn it on and move it around, but do not bring it to the surface. When using a food processor, strain the soup and pour into the processor, at the same time add a little of the liquid, then process, adding a little more liquid as needed. When using a vegetable mill, strain the soup and add the solids gradually to the mill, passing them through with small additions of liquid.