Friday, January 8, 2010

Ree's Cookbook: Leek and Potato Soup

Scott and I came back from an exhausting, but powerful, weekend at Passion 2010 with our college group. We were "vegging" on the sofa, flipping through the channels when we landed on PBS and "Jacques and Julia At Home". Re-runs of this show have become one of our favorite cooking shows! (We don't have cable, so there's not many options anyway) We love how Jacques and Julia banter while cooking, often bickering like an old married couple...reminds us of ourselves while we cook together! One of my favorite quotes from a show is, Julia: "You could leave out the butter and cream, but why would you want to?" My sentiments exactly, Julia! Anyway, we were watching J & J so a show on soups, and as their different versions of leek and potato soups came to life before us, we looked at each other, and said, "Let's head to the store! We have to make soup tonight!"
So, here's our version of Leek and Potato Soup, adapted from "Jacques and Julia At Home" TV show!

Leek and Potato Soup

1 bunch of leeks, trimmed, thoroughly washed and chopped
1 white onion, chopped small
4-5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian)
3-4 cups water
Watercress, minced
Salt and pepper
Heavy cream

1. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pat of butter in a large stockpot. Add leeks, stirring to saute for a couple minutes. Add onion and continue sauteing until vegetables are soft.
2. Add chicken stock and at least 2 cups of the water, stirring well. Let mixture come to a boil.
3. Add potatoes and more water if needed. You need enough water in the pot to cover all the soup ingredients completely. Let soup come to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft enough to mash with a spoon.
4. Add watercress and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove pot from heat and use a slotted spatula, large fork or potato masher to mash the chunks of potato, leaving smaller pieces in the soup. The idea here is to help thicken the soup with the mashed potatoes, yet leaving large enough chunks to eat. This is not a pureed soup, so don't worry about getting things completely smooth!
6. Return to heat and let simmer for a few more minutes until soup is heated back though and thickens slightly.
7. To serve, pour 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream in the bottom of soup bowl then ladle soup on top. The diner can then stir the cream into the soup as they eat. We also served this with cheese toast!

Hope you enjoy this country-style soup! Its "souper" easy and quick on a cold winter's night....don't worry about following the directions to a "T"...add things here and there and I promise it will be great!

Variation: puree soup, add heavy cream, chill and it now becomes Vichyssoise, an iconic French soup! Serve with a dollop of sour cream!

1 comment:

Marie said...

How fun that y'all watched the show together and decided to cook together. Sweet.