Potato Leek Soup


4-6 leeks (depending on size), washed and sliced thin (see notes)

3 stalks celery, sliced thin

3 T. neutral oil (don’t use olive)

2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (see notes)

3 c. water

3 c. milk (see notes)

salt, pepper

Chives (garnish)

In a dutch oven (or medium stockpot) over medium heat cook leeks and celery in oil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add 1 cup of water and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 c. water and potatoes and cook 10 minutes. Add milk and cook until potatoes are soft (another 10 minutes or so.)

Puree in blender (or food processor.) Add salt/pepper to taste (but DO add it.) Garnish with chives. Good hot or cold.

Notes: If you don’t have quite enough leeks add some onion. Regular white potatoes are best -- I find red ones or waxy types tend to make the soup kind of slimy. Even bakers work. Yukon golds work too, but the soup will be golden instead of white. Quantity of potato depends on size -- 2 bakers would be enough, but you might want 3 medium sized ones.

I’ve tried this cooking with 2 cups of milk and then adding 1 cup of buttermilk to the cold version -- a nice variation. I’ve also substituted some soy milk – but don’t use all soy: the color is gross. Almond milk is a great substitute and makes this vegan.

The French original calls for additional heavy cream added once the soup has chilled – I find this totally unnecessary, but if you want to be profligate, add about 1/2 cup heavy cream once it is cold.

If you don’t have chives, a little parsley sprinkled on top looks nice – or you can sprinkle some paprika on for color. Chives are best however – they add a fresh taste as well as color. I usually put about a tablespoon’s worth on each serving.