Happy Meatless Monday, My Fellow Springdellians! Jess here. Today was a great day to go meatless as we have a bounty of hearty veggies to work with. Yesterday was also the last day of the first season of the Westford Community Gardens, so I was pulling up many veggies there before the deer fence was removed and the tilling commenced.
One of the things I pulled up were these leeks! It might be a little premature for a leek harvest, but yet, here they are. I thought I’d “plant the seed” so to speak, for when the leeks are calling to you from the farmstand counter and/or the share box in the coming weeks. A potato leek soup is such a comforting and hearty fall soup.
Often when working with leeks, we are only using the white and light green parts. Cooks Illustrated has a recipe (I believe was shared by Fellow Springdellian Dawn DeMeo on the Facebook page a while back) that utilizes the dark green part of the leek in the soup broth as well as the white and light green parts. As you know, I love the idea of using as much of the veggie as possible. Simply simmer a couple of cups of water with your dark green leek tops (I used 1 cup water and 1 frozen cup of homemade veggie broth).
After a 20 minute simmer, those leek greens have infused some awesome flavor into the broth. (If you have any unused extras, pop them into your veggie scraps bag in the freezer for the next time you are making a veggie broth- they are wonderful!)
After the simmer, you can use a spoon so help press as much of the liquid (and flavor) out of the leeks as possible. Set your leek broth aside while you sauté your veggies. Some diced onion and the white and lighter green parts of the leek can be sautéed together in some butter for a few minutes before adding the broth back in.
If you don’t have fresh thyme available, you can pull from some of your dried Springdell thyme, just rub the leaves away from the stem and into your soup. Remember the dried thyme is more concentrated than the fresh, so you won’t need as much.
Simmer until the potatoes are tender, or a little longer, before running things through a blender (you can use an immersion blender or a large pitcher blender, just remember to be careful, it is hot soup after all.) Blend it until smooth and creamy. Return it to the pot and simmer a few more minutes, salt and pepper to taste and serve with a hearty crusty bread.
I like to drizzle in a bit of heavy cream and then swirl it with the spoon.I think the cream looked a little hypnotic, “you will eat the soup” was apparently the subconscious message etched in the cream swirls, as my boys all did just that.
- 6-8 small garden leeks or 4 larger leeks, white and light green parts halved washed and sliced thin, 1 cup of darker green parts and select tougher white parts reserved, coarsely chopped.
- 3 cups of veggie broth (preferably homemade)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of water
- hearty chunk (2-3 tbsp) of Amish Roll Butter
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces.
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme, or a fresh sprig of thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- Take the dark green (and some of the slightly tougher inner layers of the leeks- use your best judgement as to what looks flavorful) and combine with a cup of veggie broth and one cup of water.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, squeezing as much of the liquid out of the leeks as possible. Set aside.
- Melt the chunk of butter to your pot over medium heat, then add the tender and thinly sliced leek parts and onion. Cook gently for a few minutes (do not brown) until mixed and slightly softened. Add the broths, potatoes, thyme and bay leaf before bringing to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Remove the bay leaf before carefully blending with an immersion blender or pitcher blender until smooth. After blended, return to the pot for a quick simmer, salting and peppering to taste. If using, drizzle each bowl with 1 tbsp of heavy cream.