It’s a fortnight since I posted a recipe. My Apologies for the absence. Yet another relocation in few weeks. Most of my time is spent in packing and organizing last bits before moving to a new place. It’s officially spring! And the soup season is almost over. But, the chilly Columbus breeze calls for a comforting soup. That’s a good reason to make this hearty soup for a filling meal. This soup has three members of the allium family – leeks, garlic and scallions. Steeped with mild spices the chicken broth delivers a mellow and flavorful soup with a velvety consistency of the russet potatoes. It is a meal by itself. Not to forget that leeks are an excellent source of Vitamin K and A that supports our immune system with anti-inflammatory properties.
1 large leek
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup 2% milk or half and half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black peppercorn
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Bouquet garni ( 1 bayleaf, 1 thyme sprig, 1 parsley sprig)
Prepare the leek. Cut off the dark green part and the root at the bottom. Wash leeks under running water. Rinse a few times to remove any grit and sand. Dry the leek, slit it lengthwise and cut them into half moons.
Make a bouquet garni using the longest dark green part of the leek and fix it with a toothpick. This adds more leek flavor to the soup than making a bouquet garni with a cheesecloth.
Heat oil in a pan. Sauté minced garlic for about 30 seconds. Add chopped leek and sauté for a couple of minutes or until wilted.
Add diced potatoes and stir well.
Add the broth.
Plonk in the bouquet garni. Cover the pan with a lid and let the potatoes cook for about 10-15 minutes or till done on medium heat.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the bouquet garni and discard.
Process the cooked potatoes and leek in a blender for about 2 minutes. If the puree is thick, adjust consistency by adding some broth. Pour the pureed potato into the pan with the remaining broth.
Bring the soup to a gentle boil. Stir in the half and half or milk. Adjust to your desired consistency by adding some hot water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot with bread and salad. For a vegetarian option use vegetable stock and for a vegan option replace the stock as well as skip the milk or cream. Potatoes give a creamy consistency either way. Enjoy!