Potato Leek Soup
This recipe is from The Soup Bible, gifted to me by a dear friend many Christmases ago. It came from her family's book store, where her mother worked well into her eighties. There was a summer in my early twenties, when I was unemployed, and invited to work there, at the book store with their family, in exchange for as many books as I wanted. This was how I first built my library. This soup always brings me back to an unsettled, though optimistic feeling I had throughout my early twenties, floating from odd job to odder job, not being able to support myself, but having capacity enough to prepare a potato leek soup. Even though I couldn't yet pay for the potatoes.
6 medium/small potatoes
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
7-8 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 cups milk
salt & pepper
half & half
Remove the tops from the leeks. To clean them (this needs to be done thoroughly or you end up with dirt in your soup), quarter the leeks lengthwise and run them under cold water until there's no dirt left. Chop the leeks into 1/2 inch chunks.
Melt the butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat, and add the leeks. Season with salt & pepper, and add 4-5 thyme sprigs. They can go in whole, and be removed later on. Just remember how many sprigs you used so you know how many to fish out later.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks are soft.
Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, add them to the leeks, and season with more salt & pepper.
Add enough water to cover the vegetables, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove however many thyme sprigs you added at the beginning (many of the leaves will have fallen off in the cooking).
You can serve the soup as is, or...
You can blend it!
Garnish with half & half and thyme leaves.