Now THIS is the soup supreme to warm your tummies during our blustery, rainy winter days. My suggestion would be to try and get your produce as fresh as you possibly can, the difference will thrill you! Also, make it to the consistency that appeals to you using either more or less liquid.
6-8 medium POTATOES, Yukon or
German Butterball the best
3 cups cleaned, thinly sliced LEEKS,
including tender part of greens (look
for soil between the greens, wash out)
3-4 large CARROTS, chopped or sliced
3-4 ribs CELERY, chopped or sliced
6-8 Tbsp. real BUTTER
1 tsp. SALT, or to taste
1-2 cups CHICKEN STOCK, VEGETABLE STOCK
or WATER (homemade stock wows it)
3 cups whole MILK, or to
consistency you prefer (the potatoes
tend to "drink" up the liquid a bit--you
can always add more, subtracting it is
1-2 tsp. HERBES DE PROVENCE, or
to taste (or snippets of herbs you love)
Instead of black pepper, I use
WHITE PEPPER (white for a cream soup)
Start with 1/8-1/4 tsp. of the pepper
I will tell you the SECRET INGREDIENT
at the end, which drives this soup
"over the top"
1. Scrub the potatoes, and cut them into small chunks like this.
2. Place them in a dutch oven or stock pot with the leeks, celery, carrot and butter. Add salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring over medium heat until the butter is melted and everything is coated (about 5 minutes). It will look like this. The smell will hurry you along!
3. Add the stock or water, bring to a gentle boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are very soft (20-30 minutes). Check the moisture level while simmering--you may need to add a little more stock or water if it gets too low.
4. When the potatoes are tender, remove the pan from the heat and puree the contents with the milk added (if you have a wand that purees, this is the best as you do not have to remove the contents from the pan--if you don't, use a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade). Make sure the mixture is utterly smooth. Return it to the pan if need be.
5. At this stage, add Herbes de Provence, or fresh or dried herbs of your choice (such as parsley, thyme, marjoram, etc). Add the white pepper if you have it on hand, if not, the black. Taste to see if it needs more salt.
6. Now this is my secret ingredient that I came upon years ago by accident: I finely grate the zest of an organic lemon into the soup! It might be good for you to start with HALF the zest, taste and see if you should go further. This truly adds an extra ZING to this old favorite.
7. Heat the soup gently, stirring, until just hot--do NOT let it boil or you will burn your soup! Serve it right away with fresh chives, parsley, or herb of your choice finely minced on the top, along with hot crusty bread. Bon appetite my friends!
This is definitely a keeper!
Note of thanks: I have used this recipe,
originally from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by
Mollie Katzen, for years, altering it to my personal tastes.