Livin’ In A Winter Paradise

Potato Leek Soup
Potato Leek Soup

I am truly livin’ in a winter paradise.  While everyone across the nation has been freezing their asses off, we Floridians have been hosting Christmas parties wondering when we will be able to use up our fire wood so we can enjoy some beverages by the warmth of our fire pits.  I know, I know, we have it pretty rough.

Certain things get lost for me though when the cold weather fails to appear, namely soups. Most of us have this association of soups and eating them during cold spells.  Well, when the weather is 85°F it’s just too damn hard to get excited about the prospect of enjoying a hearty warm bowl of the good stuff.  So this post is for all you poor freezing souls up north everywhere.

This time though, Floridians will be living vicariously through you and your stomachs.  As we wonder when stout and porter season will finally arrive, my peace offering to you is my potato leek soup.  Only seems fair.

♥For The Potato Leek Soup:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 leeks, sliced and washed well
  • 1 ½ lbs (680 g) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 C veggie stock (homemade preferably, or quality store-bought)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Extras For Garnish:

  • creme fraiche, hefty drizzle
  • bacon, crumbled
  • chive, minced
  • pink peppercorns, ground
  • extra virgin olive oil, hefty drizzle

To Make The Potato Leek Soup:

roughly 10 servings

•The great thing about this recipe is that it is easily adapted to fit a vegetarian or vegan diet by omitting and replacing some simple ingredients.  So feel free to do what you need to do to make this your own.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat.  Add the thoroughly washed leeks and season with some salt. Cook the leeks over med heat for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re completely softened.

I use the whole leek except for the very ends of the green parts.  That’s why my soup is more green than some other people’s.  Make sure the leeks are thoroughly washed because there are lots of nooks and crannies for dirt to hide out.  I usually do a good bowl rinse and let the grit settle to the bottom of the bowl before scooping the sliced leeks out of the water, careful not to stir up the grit-filled water.

Add the thyme and crushed red pepper, stir for about 30 seconds, releasing the flavors into the butter and leek mixture.  Pour in the veggie stock, and add the potatoes.

Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, easily pierced with a knife or fork.  The time this takes will vary based on how big you cubed the potatoes and the type of potato you used.

(optional) If you would like an even creamier soup, this would be a good time to mix in a nice big dollop of creme fraiche.  Feel free to make your own creme fraiche, it’s so easy to create and you will want to use it all the time.  The great thing about adding creme fraiche to hot sauces and/or soups is that it doesn’t curdle like sour cream can.

Puree the soup with the white pepper, seasoning with more salt if necessary. This is a great time to use your an immersion blender.  If you use a standard blender, be sure not to fill it more than half-full and secure the lid, and cover it with a kitchen towel when blending.  This will reduce the chance of your hot mixture injuring yourself and going all over your kitchen.

Ladle soup into bowls and use whatever garnishes you wish or just dig in.  Serve with some warm, crusty bread.  I hope this dish provides some sunshine to you all.♥

Potato Leek Soup
Potato Leek Soup